Page 1

Actionable Intelligence for the Warfighter

ISR Capacity Builder Maj. Gen. Robert P. “Bob” Otto Commander Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency

December 2011 Volume 1, Issue 5

Air Force ISR Agency O EO/IR in 2012 O Full Motion Video ISR in 2012 O Smarter Imaging O Tactical Data Links

Tactical ISR Technology

Editorial Calendar

February [2.1]

March [2.2]

April [2.3]

July [2.4]

October [2.5]

November [2.6]

Col. Tim Baxter Project Manager U.S. Army Unmanned Systems

Maj. Gen. Tim Crosby U.S. Army PEO Aviation

Capt. Robert Rupp Commander Office of Naval Intelligence

Brig. Gen. Harold Greene PEO U.S. Army IEW&S

Maj. Gen. Robert P. Otto Commander U.S. Air Force ISR Agency

Special Section: Manned Platforms

Special Section: EO/IR Developments

Lt. Gen. Larry James Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissnace

Special Section: Man-portable ISR

Special Section: UAV Training/Services

Features: Airborne EW Advances Who’s Who at Army PEO Aviation

Features: Searfaring ISR Smart Phone ISR

Features: Who’s Who at PEO IEW&S Urban ISR 3D Mapping Ground–based EW

Features: Who’s Who Air Force ISR Agency ISR Integration GPS

Unmanned Systems: Ground Control Stations

Unmanned Systems: Optionally Piloted Vehicles

Sensors and Electronics: Unattended Ground Sensors

Sensors and Electronics: Tactical Data Links

Special Section: Secure Comms Features: Situational Awareness IED Detection Unmanned Systems: Aerostats

Unmanned Systems: VTOL

Unmanned Systems: Maritime Unmanned Systems

Sensors and Electronics: Rapidly Deployable Surveillance

Sensors and Electronics: Gimbals

Sensors and Electronics: Sonar

Trade Shows: AUSA Winter*

Trade Shows: Quad-A* Navy League

Trade Shows: SPIE* SOFIC*

Closing Date: February 6

Closing Date: March 9

Closing Date: April 6

Special Section: Autonomous Unmanned Systems Features: Embedded Computing Full Motion Video Unmanned Systems: Hunter Killer Unmanned Systems Sensors and Electronics: Airborne Radar Trade Shows: AUVSI* AFA Modern Day Marine* AOC Annual Conference

Trade Shows: AUSA* GEOINT* Closing Date: September 19

Closing Date: July 23

*Bonus Distribution This editorial calendar is a guide. Content is subject to change. Please verify advertising closing dates with your account executive.

Trade Shows: Air Force A6/ISR Agency Conference* AAAA UAS Professional Symposium* AUSA Aviation Symposium* Closing Date: November 9

Tactical ISR Technology

December 2011 Volume 1 • Issue 5


Cover / Q&A The Eyes Have It

> 5



Full motion video is a cutting-edge technology that adds invaluable information and confirmation. Speed and integration are key metrics that should be used to measure the applications of FMV. By Peter Buxbaum

Staying Ahead The constant struggle to develop new technologies, match the needs of friendly forces, and to keep the tactical advantage on the right side of the fence drives industry to new heights. Tactical ISR Technology recently had the opportunity to pull together several companies that focus on electro-optic and IR technologies and find out what direction they are going to meet the needs of their customers.

Smarter Imaging Fixed wing aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial systems and remotely piloted aircraft are providing more and better images for operations on the ground. Whatever the platform, the quality of the imaging devices is key. By Henry Canaday

Managing the Future



It is likely that ISR, as a budget element, will see less reduction across the board than other areas. However, technologies and programs will have to show results and innovation in order to survive. How does industry sees 2012 and what are the things to watch?

Air Force ISR Agency Overview The Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency, with headquarters at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, is a field operating agency. Tactical ISR Technology looks at the agency’s major elements.

Major General Robert P. “Bob” Otto Commander Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency

Departments 2 Editor’s Perspective 3 Army Unmanned

Aircraft Systems

4 All INT/People 14 ISR Kit 27 Calendar, Directory

21 TDLs


In the battlespace, wideband data must be exchanged rapidly, accurately and securely through real-time battlefield networks to allow warfighters not only to conduct combat operations, but also to quickly assess and effectively respond to all manner of threats. By Steve Goodman

Industry Interview

28 Paul Jennison

Vice President, Government Sales and Business Development L-3 Wescam

Tactical ISR Technology

Volume 1, Issue 5

December 2011

Actionable Intelligence for the Warfighter Editorial Editor-in-Chief Jeff McKaughan Managing Editor Harrison Donnelly Online Editorial Manager Laura Davis Correspondents Adam Baddeley • Peter Buxbaum • Steve Goodman Scott Gourley • Kenya McCullum • Joan Michel

Art & Design Art Director Jennifer Owers Senior Graphic Designer Jittima Saiwongnuan Graphic Designers Amanda Kirsch Scott Morris Kailey Waring

Advertising Account Executive Dimitri Furman

KMI Media Group Publisher Kirk Brown Chief Executive Officer Jack Kerrigan Chief Financial Officer Constance Kerrigan Executive Vice President David Leaf Editor-In-Chief Jeff McKaughan Controller Gigi Castro Trade Show Coordinator Holly Foster

From obscurity to headlines—the RQ-170 has seen its fair share this year alone. Not publicly recognized until 2009, the Sentinel has capabilities and design characteristics that are kept tightly held. A small official acknowledgement of its work came earlier this year when it took the stage high above the Osama bin Laden Pakistani compound during the special operations take-down of the terrorist leader. Headlines of a different sort claimed top billing recently as reportedly the CIA lost contact with one of their RQ-170s over (Iran or Western Afghanistan—you fill in the blank). Iran claims to have shot or brought it Jeffrey D. McKaughan down, as well as claiming that they have the vehicle relatively intact with Editor-IN-CHIEF only “minor damage.” If the stealthy, bat-winged unmanned system is indeed in Iranian hands in fairly good shape, the isolated regime will for sure—and not unexpectedly—leverage what they have with several of their closest supporters: Russia, China and North Korea (maybe even our friendly neighbor in Venezuela). Access will come with a price for those countries, but to have access to the sensors, optics, design elements and materials of an out-in-front design such as the Sentinel would be—as the credit card companies like to say—priceless. I imagine that the U.S. discussions of what to do about a downed RQ-170 on Iranian soil were pretty interesting in that first hour. The loss of the system, especially if it was not due to direct Iranian action, deeply emphasizes the fact that it is indeed a system of systems. I’m sure that the forensic replay of the events is well underway and will determine the cause and lessons learned. From the platform, the ground control station, the tactical data links, the operator and a host of other possibilities will be considered as possible causes—as too will Iranian intervention. Despite a potential technology loss, the UAS was doing what a UAS was designed to do—generate information and data without jeopardizing a crew. As always, please feel free to contact me with any ISR-related comments or suggestions.

Operations, Circulation & Production Manager, Circulation and Operations Toye McLean Distribution Coordinator Duane Ebanks Data Specialists Rebecca Hunter Tuesday Johnson Summer Walker Donisha Winston

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Unmanned Aircraft Systems Project Office Participates in Network Integration Evaluation 12.1 By Colonel Tim Baxter, U.S. Army, Project Manager, Unmanned Aircraft Systems Participation in the Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) 12.1, October/November 2011, served to increase combat readiness and effectiveness. This, the second in a series of calendar year 11 semiannual field exercises designed to evaluate deliberate and rapid acquisition solutions and integrate and mature the Army’s tactical network, was the ideal test bed for up-and-coming technologies as well as battle tested hardware and software. The first generation of Army UAS was focused on building the core of the program and increasing reliability. The second generation was focused on mission acceptance and expansion. The third generation is about autonomy, smart machines and network capabilities where machines provide the information and humans make the life and death actionable decisions. To date, UAS PO has participated in the father of NIE, known as Brigade Combat Team Integration Exercise, and additionally two consecutive NIE exercises, July/August 2010, June/July 2011 and this past October/November 2011 known as NIE 12.1. One example of the UAS PO’s NIE participation has come in the form of providing OSRVT systems, support and training to units operating in the exercise. NIE has become a proving ground for new concepts and discovery of gaps in current capabilities. To that end, OSRVT has been integrated into the NIE to not only provide soldiers on the ground with the existing capability to receive UAS video/telemetry for improved situational awareness, but to evaluate future OSRVT logistics and technical concepts. On June 15, 2011, the OSRVT was designated by the Department of the Army as an official Program of Record (POR). As a part of the POR process, the OSRVT will be trained/issued to Army units per a pre-defined fielding structure (as opposed to the previous war-time method of in-theater distribution based on urgent soldier needs). The UAS PO has used the NIE as a pilot program for this new structure by fielding a POR quantity of 18 OSRVT systems to an NIE brigade combat team and providing training to the unit as the equipment was issued. UAS PO provided an initial training team and a full-time field service representative to ensure the troops have the support they need to accomplish their mission. The training team provided on-site training to 53 soldiers participating in the NIE. Technically, the NIE is being used to evaluate the existing network output capabilities of the OSRVT and gather requirements for potential future enhancements. The systems have been placed in tactical operations centers of the mine resistant ambush protected ground vehicle. With OSRVT, the soldiers receive full motion video streamed from the unmanned aircraft with critical information about the location and composition of potential threats. With this information, the soldiers gain a visual reference of where the target is in relation to their position. In addition to the ability to receive full motion video, the OSRVT can be utilized in a limited manner to stream situational awareness information across the network to other troops that lack the benefits of OSRVT. The NIE use of the OSRVT in this manner as a receive/ dissemination node should provide beneficial feedback for future enhancements that expand its benefits to the forward deployed forces.

One of the key elements in the Army’s Network Modernization plan is the ability to dramatically extend the range of wireless networks using unmanned aircraft. In support of this, a Raven-based communications relay was implemented as a collaborative effort between AeroVironment, General Dynamics C4 Systems, and UAS PO. With support from Program Executive Office Integration, this technology was evaluated for its ability to enhance and strengthen the network connectivity of the company commander and below. The Raven UAS by AeroVironment and Joint Tactical Radio System’s Handheld, Manpack, Small Form Fit (JTRS HMS) radio, by General Dynamics C4 Systems, were integrated and flown in support of missions at NIE 12.1. The Raven, a hand-launched, back-packable small-UAS, was equipped with a JTRS HMS communications payload. This was made possible due to the small size of JTRS HMS radio and extraordinary advances in wireless network communications enabled by the Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW). SRW is a mobile ad-hoc networking waveform that allows users to communicate beyond the normal constraints of line-of-sight radios by creating, in this case, airborne network nodes. While the official test results of NIE 12.1 are still in work, early indications are that tripling the range of the standard ground-to-ground communications link is quickly achievable. Given that there are hundreds of Raven systems currently deployed by the U.S. Army in theater, adding an HMS radio to the Raven could be well on its way to providing mission-critical communications and network information right down to the dismounted infantry squad. Supporting the NIE 12.1 is the 2nd BCT/1st Armored Division (AD). Organic to the 2/1 AD is a platoon of Shadow UAS, used primarily for RSTA capabilities in standard configuration but for NIE 12.1 was configured to serve as an aerial communications relay and to provide UAS video to the dismounted soldier. The communications relay radios normally used in the air vehicle which perform SINCGARS retransmission were replaced with the PRC 154 Rifleman Radio, which can provide “network thickening” of the Soldier Radio Waveform for ground units. Using the Shadow as communication relay node, fitted with components capable of relaying/routing the SRW waveform, can extend ground communications. The range extension is used to increase the range of the terrestrial network as well as to provide command and control messaging between supported units and the UAS operators. In addition to the range extension capability, one of the radios in the Shadow was used to disseminate video via SRW. The video was received on the ground using a rifleman radio attached to an android tablet running a video player. This was performed as a technology demonstration and was not employed by the soldiers. In future NIEs, this could be employed to demonstrate direct dissemination of video to the dismounted soldier. Shadow testing is facilitating the move from legacy, analog waveforms such as frequency modulation/SINCGARS to digital waveforms such as SRW. This will allow and support the transfer of data from the sensor to the soldier, networking our units through an aerial layer. O TISR  1.5 | 3

Convertible Observer

Data Management and Fusion

ReconRobotics Inc. has been awarded a $4.8 million contract from the U.S. Army Rapid Equipping Force for 315 Recon Scout XT micro-robot kits and an equal number of SearchStick devices. The SearchStick enables warfighters to convert any Recon Scout Throwbot into a pole camera, which warfighters can use to see over compound walls, onto rooftops and into culverts. ReconRobotics plans to complete deliveries of these micro-robot systems by October 31, 2011. “The era of the personal robot has arrived for U.S. troops and, like the ballistic vest and night vision goggles, our Recon Scout XTs will save many lives,” said Ernest Langdon, director of military programs for ReconRobotics. Recon Scout XT micro-robots are deployed at the fire-team level—i.e., one robot for each four- to six-man fire team—to maximize situational awareness and standoff distance during route- and compound-clearing operations. More than 2,000 of the company’s Recon Scout systems have been deployed by the U.S. military and international friendly forces, and by hundreds of law enforcement agencies worldwide. Warfighters use the Recon Scout system to determine the layout of the enclosed spaces, identify potential IEDs and the fix the location of friendly, indigenous or enemy personnel. The company’s Recon Scout XT weighs just 1.2 pounds, and can be deployed in five seconds and thrown up to 120 feet. Highly regarded for its simplicity and durability, the XT can be controlled with a single button and can be recharged in the field using standard 5590 or 2590 batteries.

Sorting through the massive amounts of operational intelligence available to those in theater is becoming easier as Lockheed Martin upgrades the data management and fusion capabilities of the enterprise that disseminates intelligence for the U.S. Army. Through multiple projects, Lockheed Martin is modernizing many of the tools needed to support the Army’s Distributed Common Ground System’s (DCGS-A) intelligence missions. DCGS is a family of systems that enables military analysts from all services to access shared intelligence. DCGS-A takes sensor data from all sources—signals, imagery and human intelligence—then integrates it into a common data format in a fused environment, making multi-source intelligence analysis possible. “Army intelligence analysts increasingly rely on DCGS-A for their information and intelligence data,” said Jim Quinn, vice president of C4ISR systems with Lockheed Martin IS&GS-Defense. “Providing improved fusion and data management tools will enhance DCGS-A performance while reducing manual efforts that benefit both analysts and decisionmakers across the Army, its coalition partners and the greater intelligence community.” Lockheed Martin is supporting the Army’s efforts to modernize the capabilities of DCGS-A Version 3.1, currently fielded in Afghanistan. This software version’s primary objective is to meet urgent operational needs for more and better intelligence. To ensure that intelligence is not corrupted or lost when transferred between heterogeneous intelligence systems, Lockheed Martin is incorporating a data management and transfer capability, Data Mover, which enables soldiers to move data between disparate databases while preserving data integrity and previously identified associations made through intelligence analysis. Another new capability automatically merges, or fuses, intelligence data, allowing objects and associations obtained from intelligence to be refined, giving soldiers a more coherent view of the battlespace. Lockheed Martin is also modernizing the user interfaces and porting the software for the ACE Block II All-Source Fusion subsystem and the single source subsystem to a Linux platform. This will significantly reduce hardware and software sustainment costs and simplify operator workflows for both systems.

p e op le Air Force Colonel John D. Bansemer has been nominated to the rank of brigadier general. Bansemer is currently serving as assistant vice commander, Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. Air Force Colonel Thomas W. Geary has been nominated to the rank of brigadier general. Geary is currently serving as commander, National Security Agency/Central

4 | TISR 1.5

Security Service Texas, Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. Air Force Colonel Ronald L. Huntley has been nominated to the rank of brigadier general. Huntley is currently serving as commander, Space Operations Wing, Aerospace Data FacilityColorado, National Reconnaissance Office, Aurora, Colo.

Charles L. Beames has been appointed to the Senior Executive Service as strategic advisor, space and intelligence, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics), Washington, D.C. Beames previously served as a colonel in the U.S. Air Force. Air Force Major General Ronnie D. Hawkins Jr. has been nominated for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general and for assignment as director,

Defense Information Systems Agency, Fort Meade, Md. Hawkins is currently serving as deputy director, J8, for command, control, communications and computer systems, Joint Staff, Washington, D.C. Brigadier General Linda R. Medler, assistant deputy director for net centric capabilities, J-8, Joint Staff, Pentagon, Washington, D.C., has been assigned to director of command, control, communications and

computer systems (J6), U.S. Cyber Command, Fort Meade, Md. Eric B. Rosenbach has been appointed to the senior executive service as deputy assistant secretary of defense for cyber policy, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs, Washington, D.C. Rosenbach previously served as principal global cyber security practice lead, Good Harbor Consulting, Washington, D.C.



Have It

Full motion video is the cutting edge technology that adds invaluable information and confirmation. The Counter Terrorism Airborne Analysis Center (CTAAC), a unit run jointly by the Department of Defense and interested civilian agencies, has been making use of large volumes of full motion video (FMV) of late. Captain Sam Percy, a reserve Army officer assigned to CTAAC and a solutions engineer at Overwatch Systems, works in the first phase of video analysis, which means that he monitors live video feeds streamed into the center from unmanned aerial vehicles. “Working with video enables us to identify targets, create analysis surrounding target sets, and generate correlations among the targets from different locations,” Percy said. “It is especially useful when it comes to following and tracking individuals and personalities.” CTAAC analysts also use video and imagery to construct route analysis for warfighters pursuing targets. “We can analyze routes from a helicopter landing zone to a target and assess enemy threats in the area,” said Percy. “At the end of the day there is a great feeling of accomplishment knowing that we equipped our troops with as much intelligence information as needed for them to complete their mission and safely return home.” There is no question about the increased demand in the military and intelligence communities for access to and analysis and exploitation of full motion video. Experts say this is driven Sam Percy by the explosion in the number of available sensors and platforms that provide FMV; a few dozen assets 10 years ago have exploded to thousands today. The volume of video taken in Afghanistan and Iraq in any given year can be measured in decades. The key added value that video brings over still imagery intelligence is the ability to observe targets over time. FMV provides a capability to understand human activity over and above the insights to be derived from still David Fields imagery. “Military operators have become increasingly dependent on FMV for general situational awareness and target specific reconnaissance,” said David Fields, chief technology officer at Logos Technologies. “The primary development for platforms has been the advent of unmanned

By Peter Buxbaum TISR Correspondent

aircraft. The advance of this technology will continue for the foreseeable future, making airborne FMV ubiquitous.” The need for FMV has been advanced as well by the changing nature of warfare, according to Dr. Richard Wittstruck, system of systems director at the Army’s Program Executive Office, Intelligence, Electronic Warfare & Sensors (PEO IEW&S). “During the first Gulf War we used imagery for target acquisition and battle damage assessment,” he said. “In the current campaign we are operating in a full spectrum of landscapes with a mix of urban and rural and a lot of moving components. We have noncombatants trying to live their lives. We need an unblinking eye to provide patterns of behavior to indicate that something is happening. Full motion video has become that gap filler.” The Army utilizes several integrated platforms that include FMV capabilities. Airborne Reconnaissance Rich Wittstruck Low (ARL) integrates the aircraft, payload and analyst multifunction workstations to form a system that employs imagery intelligence, as well as GMTI and SAR radars, for the collection, processing and dissemination of intelligence products. The aircraft can also support the simultaneous dissemination of full motion video data. The Medium Altitude Reconnaissance Surveillance System (MARSS) and the Aerial Reconnaissance and Multi-Sensor System are both quick reaction capabilities (QRCs) that deliver FMV directly to the warfighter. “ARL is a program of record, which means it has line item in the defense budget and is integrated into the Army’s force structure,” said Wittstruck. “The QRCs represent a limited time investment respond to niche requirement in theater, often fielded within weeks or months. QRCs can transition to a program of record, remain a niche capability, or be retired and disposed of.” ARL has been used since the 1980s, when it had its genesis during counterterror and counternarcotics operations in Central and South America. MARSS gained notoriety a few years ago when it was used by Task Force ODIN (observe, detect, identify and neutralize). Activated in Iraq in 2007, Task Force ODIN provided intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets to U.S. Army commanders to better detect and act against insurgent forces. It has also been used in conjunction with Project Liberty, an Air Force effort begun in 2009 to identify targets in Afghanistan and Iraq from the air. TISR  1.5 | 5

“The strength of what we have been able to accomplish with our QRCs is that while they met an immediate need for aerial ISR in Afghanistan and Iraq they also allowed us to learn some very valuable lessons, which will inform our permanent solution with the Enhanced Medium Altitude Reconnaissance Surveillance System (EMARSS) POR,” said Wittstruck. “EMARSS will offer a mulit-int sensor suite including DCGS-A enabled FMV and COMINT. Having DCGS on board will truly bring this capability to the next level as it allows collected information to be quickly processed, exploited and disseminated to users via the DCGS enterprise.” The increase in demand for full motion video has led companies to adapt technologies toward the development of different FMV applications. Rafael, an Israeli company, combines sensors, processing power and networking to tailor solutions to customer requirements. “We have been in contact with U.S. and other forces in Afghanistan about tailoring these types of solutions for camp protection,” said Haim Jacobovitz, the company’s vice president and general manager of the NCW. “They have been applied to force protection as well as border protection in Israel.” The building blocks of this type of system include a network of sensors and image processing power that allows commanders to make decisions about camp security in real time. “What we do is provide commanders with relevant information so they can make relevant decisions,” said Jacobovitz. “If you have a series of cameras surrounding a camp or infrastructure, human beings can’t process all of the necessary information in real time. Our system automatically prioritizes the images to help commanders make decisions about protecting their people and assets.” Rafael’s processing of video imagery has traditionally been done centrally, but of late the company has been pushing more processing power to the sensors themselves, especially, said Jacobovitz, in the case of aerial sensors. IDirect Government Technologies (iGT), a provider of satellite communications to the U.S. military and government, applies its expertise to provide FMV capabilities to operations in geographical areas without line of sight access to direct UAV feeds. Most of today’s FMV is broadcast directly to the ground over the L-band frequency from manned and unmanned airborne assets, noted Karl Fuchs, the company’s vice president of technology. “The biggest advantage to satellite communications is ubiquitous coverage,” he said. “L-band communications direct to the ground implies some existing infrastructure to leverage. In some areas, such as in the Horn of Africa, that is not the case.” IGT has worked to integrate their satellite communications technology on the aircraft providing the FMV. This has included working on antennas, modems and routers. “This work has resulted in increases in output from 512 kilobits per second at first to two megabits per second, and in the latest runs up to 2 to 14 megabits per second off a 60-centimeter aperture antenna,” said Fuchs. “Once you get over 12 megabits you can accommodate high-definition full motion video.” IGT’s technology was used by the U.S. Coast Guard during last year’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill to locate oil in the Gulf of Mexico. The technology was also integrated by Sierra Nevada Corporation on a Beechcraft King Air aircraft equipped with infrared sensors. Related to capabilities provided by full motion video is wide area motion imagery, essentially a low-rate video with image formats measured in tens or hundreds of millions of pixels. “These large formats make possible systems that don’t need to be tasked to specific targets,” said Fields. “With these sensors, multiple users can find different 6 | TISR 1.5

targets in the field of view of the sensor. With efficient storage, it is possible to find things that were not originally expected.” “Wide area capabilities allow us to look at a much broader expanse of real estate,” said Wittstruck. “A platform may be flying over an area for eight hours. Analysts can use that data to determine what has changed in areas of interest. Have traffic flows changed? Are there changes in patterns in behavior? Wide-area surveillance provides a capability to trace the history of events across a greater area than that provided by imagery with a more narrow field of view.” The Constant Hawk is an Army QRC that delivers persistent wide-area surveillance high-resolution day and night imagery. “It also provides the ground commander with the ability for forensic back-tracking of areas of interest,” said Wittstruck. “This allows the ground commander to use fewer assets to cover more ground as well as a forensic tool to back track the origin of a threat to its source.” Logos provides systems and services for wide area motion imagery and has supported the development of multiple systems, including Constant Hawk. “We expect this technology to be as ubiquitous as conventional FMV,” said Fields. “This technology is dependent on and driven by advances in processing technology.” Fields also expects that there will continue to be an expansion in the availability of FMV, fed by its presence on air, ground and sea platforms. “I particularly expect to see a continued expansion of autonomous airborne platforms,” he added. “Improved quality in imaging systems and the standardization around digital transmission will increase the power of traditional FMV.” For Jacobovitz, FMV will provide added value in the future by having its data being fused with data from other sensors. Wittstruck agreed, saying that the combination of video imagery with data from communications, humans and other sources of intelligence will provide context to users and analysts of FMV. “We still need other forms of intelligence to set the conditions for the video imagery,” he said. “We may know that high Karl Fuchs value individuals are in a general area. We need to be able to look in the right haystack. We could use ways to bring infrared imagery and hyperspectral data into the video.” This fusion of data to provide context to video comes in the form of Ageon ISR, a solution from Bostonbased DRG. Deployed as a compact appliance or software package, Ageon ISR supports plug-and-play compatibility with most ISR sensors and sysStephen St. Mary tems. “Video and data from airborne platforms, aerostats, towers, mobile and ground sensors can be displayed within context of real-time and historic operations and intelligence activity,” explained Stephen St. Mary, co-founder of DRG. “Ageon ISR’s ability to process this data locally or across a distributed, cloud-like architecture enhances the warfighters’ ability to plan, protect and respond.”

Users require nothing more than web browser on a desktop, laptop or mobile device to access Ageon ISR. “A mobile app allows in-vehicle and dismounted units to quickly create and share and collaborate around spot reports, photos and video,” said St. Mary. “Automated video tagging, ISR coverage alerts and email notifications help to reduce the resources required to maintain awareness and identify critical activity. An augmented video scene displays geospatially positioned assets, personnel and tracks of interest.” Ageon ISR was recently deployed to Southwest Asia and is now operating on classified intelligence networks. Hints about other future FMV applications can be found at recent Army exercises. At this past summer’s Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) at the Army’s White Sands Test Center in New Mexico and the Joint Forces Command’s Empire Challenge 11 at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., Overwatch was able to make video accessible to warfighters over handheld devices such as Evan Corwin smartphones. “At Empire Challenge we took video from a Canadian ScanEagle UAV and exposed it to a private cell network so soldiers in vehicles could see video coming in from the UAV as they were riding along,” said Evan Corwin, an Overwatch senior program manager. “In one instance soldiers watching their cells saw

a group of bad guys up ahead getting ready to ambush their convoy. They were able to defeat them by ambushing the ambushers.” The feats at NIE and Empire Challenge were performed with products such as AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems’ One System remote video terminal, which enables warfighters to remotely downlink live surveillance images from tactical unmanned aircraft systems; the Forward Airborne Secure Transmission and Communication (FASTCOM) solution developed by AAI, Overwatch and ViaSat, which creates a secure, mobile cellular network that can accommodate Top Secret and below communications; and Overwatch’s SoldierEyes, a mobile data network and smartphone apps. All of this is aimed at maintaining unswerving surveillance of adversary activities, noted Wittstruck. “These capabilities put the enemy on notice that we are watching him day and night, in good weather and bad,” he said. “Enemy mobilization factors go way down when they know there is an unblinking eye on them and that when we are alerted that something is about to happen someone will go out on the street to find out what it is. “The enemy then needs to learn more complex ways to conduct their missions. If they are back in school, they are not on the street conducting insurgency operations.” O

For more information, contact KMI Media Group Editor-in-Chief Jeff McKaughan at or search our online archives for related stories at

Developing and deploying Wide Area Persistent Surveillance systems that deliver actionable intelligence to the warfighter.

The Art of Science®

TISR  1.5 | 7

Staying Ahead The constant struggle to develop new technologies, match the needs of friendly forces (and their budgets), and to keep the tactical advantage on the right side of the fence drives industry to new heights.


Tactical ISR Technology recently had the opportunity to pull together several companies that focus on electro-optic and IR technologies and find out what direction they are going to meet the needs of their customers. We asked each a single question as to how they are meeting today’s challenges.


EO/IR technologies are becoming more prevalent on the battlefield—by friend and foe alike. What are the technologies and advancements required to maintain the U.S. warfighter’s tactical advantage and what is your company’s role in that technology?

James Kirschner Goodrich ISR Systems Applications Engineer

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aggressively lowering its price for quantity

its technology advancement by creating smaller,

tion, and penetration through fog, dust, smoke

orders, making them extremely competitive with

more sensitive, lower weight and lower power

and thermal crossover. The camera employs

both mid-wave infrared and long-wave infrared

shortwave infrared (SWIR) cameras. Goodrich

on-board automatic gain control, proprietary

camera technologies.

Vanessa Couturier HGH Infrared Systems Inc. General Manager, North America


of the challenges in theater is for the operator

are put into data fusion through command and

have traditionally sup-


not to get submerged by irrelevant data com-

control software, but fusion can be very complex

plemented radars for

ing from false alarms and leaving him searching

to achieve. In this context, near-real time capability

classification and identification purposes, but one

semi-blindly for an actual threat. A lot of efforts

to detect and see with very high resolution multiple

8 | TISR 1.5

intruders on a 360 degree basis can provide an

cues, night or day.

surrounding in a highly flexible manner and use

unmatched capability to locate threats as åsoon

Sensors' forensic capabilities are another

the environment in order to intelligently display

as they arise. We developed the IR Revolution

step toward tactical advantage through intel-

information could tremendously help limiting the

360, a unique high resolution thermal imager with

ligent data. Our camera allows analysts to replay

operator’s involvement in complex technology

a rotating head and panoramic views, to act as an

a sequence as if it was a live feed and change

use. This level of smart automation will alleviate

optical radar. It gives full visibility to the soldier at

detection parameters after the fact to understand

training challenges in the field and allow the

any given time on his surroundings and can auto-

the occurrence of a threat that was not caught

warfighter to focus on more critical operations.

track multiple threats at the same. It can be used

or couldn’t be interpreted at the time it occurred.

Our research efforts are geared toward this

alone or coupled with other sensors to eliminate

As we move forward, cognitive automation

objective, which would definitely provide our

false alarm rates and provide immediate visual

and the ability for a sensor to adapt to its

troops with a clear edge.

Steve Kinney Director of Pre-Sales Technical Support JAI





years there has been

increased power draw, and multiple failure points

channels. By eliminating the prism, JAI can utilize

in these cases.

the compact, 3-channel electronics to drive three

an increasing emphasis

Other wide FOV solutions try to avoid this

independent sensors in one unit. The sensors are

placed on situational awareness systems with

dilemma by using a single camera coupled to

aligned in overlapping 60 degree FOVs to cover

extremely wide fields-of-view (FOV). These sys-

a special 180 degree lens or fiber optic bundle.

180 degrees in a single unit. Two units can be

tems are most commonly requested for monitoring

This results in a wide FOV with massive distortion

mounted back-to-back to create a six imager,

the area around vehicles, but may also be used for

resulting from projecting a wide angle spherical

360-degree FOV.

persistent surveillance or perimeter security. Since

view onto a single imager plane. The camera

Each 60 degree FOV is captured using a low

the purpose is to give a soldier in a vehicle or a

image is then “de-warped” by software to create

distortion lens. The images can then be stitched

security officer a complete perspective on the situ-

a more useable view for the operator. The problem

together to create a low distortion 180 or 360

ation, the FOV is commonly 180 to 360 degrees.

with this approach is the distortion and lack of

degree total FOV in a single compact unit.

Simple solutions use multiple cameras in

image detail.

Currently available units create low distortion

multiple locations to achieve surveillance of such

JAI is providing a third approach that lever-

180-degree video with 3096 (H) x 768 (V) resolution

a large area. While more feasible in a fixed installa-

ages the company’s expertise in prism-based,

(2.4MP). Other multi-imager cameras can be easily

tion, the multiple camera approach is undesirable

multi-imager cameras. These cameras typically

adapted to provide more than 6 megapixels across

in vehicles and mobile perimeter applications.

have three independent CCDs affixed to a prism

180 degrees or 12 megapixels in a 360-degree

The number of cameras adds cost, complexity,

to accurately sense red, green, and blue image


Dave Wessing Vice President and General Manager L-3 IOS Brashear

The battlefield has

Better situational awareness: Information

that provide vision in total darkness and improve

changed; EO/IR systems

in rapidly changing asymmetric battlefields is

perception in low light environments and foggy

designed for long range

critical to mission success. EO/IR technology


engagements on battlefields are no longer suit-

needs to include day/night 360 degree situational

Scalability, internal configuration, ease of

able for the complex, urban combat environment

awareness along with the ability to detect, iden-

upgrade: Modular, configurable systems that

faced by today’s warfighter. The next generation

tify, locate, track and engage targets in battlefield

permit optional inclusion of or upgrade to include

of tactical EO/IR systems needs to support situ-


other electro-optic devices provide excellent

ational awareness, threat ID, target cueing and

Vision despite dark and or foggy conditions:

primary or backup targeting. Vehicle-mounted

Uninterrupted surveillance regardless of weather

solutions marked by ruggedness, high-perfor-

or light provides warfighters the enhanced images

Increased lethality and survivability: In urban

mance positioning, advanced lethality, increased

needed to dominate the day and the night. EO/

combat, exposed crewmen are increasingly sus-

crew survivability and superior EO capability will

IR packages need to include a combination of

ceptible to small arms fire and other hostilities,

provide our warfighters a long lasting advantage.

low-light, image intensifying and thermal sensors

along with increased risk of fratricide. It is critical

options for today and provide an easy and affordable upgrade path for the future.

TISR  1.5 | 9

that an EO/IR package allows for under

Systems (IOS) provides optical sights and fire

Our solution focuses not only on these funda-

armor operation and supports hunter/killer

control systems that give the warfighter lethal

mental requirements, but also on the reliability,

fire-control capability to rapidly and effectively

advantage, both day and night. Our newest offer-

maintainability and sustainability of the subsys-

engage targets.

ing, High-performance Engagement Lightweight

tem to ensure the highest operational readiness

EO/IR sensors are valuable tools aiding warf-

Integrated Optical System (HELIOS) is a low-cost

across the demanding situations faced by the

ighter decision-making. L-3 Integrated Optical

EO/IR system that is lightweight and low profile.


Ann Kutsch Lighting & Imaging Defense Manager Schott

Schott has a long

micro-display/fiber optic subsystems that could

fused or flexible imaging fibers on a CCD or

history of developing

be used in simulation-based training systems.

CMOS sensor for multi-field of view or wide field

innovative fiber optic

U.S. warfighters use our technology in their

of view aerial ISR. To help U.S. warfighters main-

imaging solutions for the defense market, espe-

head mounted displays when training to enter

tain a tactical advantage, we are extending this

cially in night vision and surveillance systems. Our

the combat zone. Soldiers are able to accu-

bonding capability to a wider range of technol-

success in these systems has led to our current

rately and precisely assess their surroundings in

ogy like I2 CMOS products. These digital night

role in electro-optical, infrared (EO/IR) advance-

simulations because our fiber optic technology

vision surveillance systems are key to identifying

ment. We are adapting our high-quality technology

enables a wide field of view that helps to create

potential threats on the ground and Schott’s verti-

from the components that the defense industry

a highly realistic and immersive environment. The

cal integration from materials through subsystem

relies on to the subsystems and subassemblies

coupling of an imaging fiber optic to the OLED

allows us to design them for optimized perfor-

that can be used for broader applications.

micro-display also allows a wider viewing field in

mance and quality.

Part of Schott’s core EO/IR technology is our

a smaller, less complex optical package.

As a world leader in glass technologies with

micro-display subsystems, which have imaging

Another use for Schott’s fiber optics bond-

a history of developing new capabilities that have

fiber optics bonded to OLED micro-displays.

ing in EO/IR technology is our image assembler,

a combat edge, warfighters can rely on Schott to

Schott expanded the technical expertise behind

which is ideal for unmanned aerial system ISR

develop flexible and reliable EO/IR subsystems

the fiber optic components to develop our own

payloads. The image assembler bonds either

for their future needs.

Frank Vallese, Ph.D. President Sofradir EC

In order to maintain

used in guidance, targeting, long-range surveil-

unmanned aerial vehicles. For these applications,

a tactical advantage for

lance and earth observation, new cooled infrared

uncooled detectors are an excellent choice,

the U.S. warfighter on

detectors are now available, having larger pixel

delivering high reliability, reduced blurring due to

the battlefield, steady advancements in EO/IR

arrays, smaller pixel pitch, better sensitivity and

short thermal time constant (amorphous silicon

systems are necessary to deliver improved per-

broader spectral response. Sofradir EC is devel-

detectors) and excellent reliability at a reduced

formance and enhanced capability for a diversity

oping infrared engines based on these detectors

cost. Sofradir EC has introduced a very high

of military applications. Advances will be required

to operate in a range of spectral bands, including

resolution uncooled camera having 1024-by-768

at the system as well as sensor subsystem level.

SWIR, MWIR and LWIR as well as two spectral

pixels with impressive sensitivity (<50mK) and is

Sofradir EC Inc., Fairfield, N.J., is developing

bands (dual-band). In addition, because of the

developing smaller cost-effective uncooled cores

uniquely capable sensor sub-systems for a vari-

availability of new MCT detectors that operate at

in VGA and QVGA format for a variety of different

ety of military applications including surveillance,

high operating temperatures, infrared cores are


night vision, target acquisition, tracking and intel-

being developed that meet new goals for reduced

ligence gathering. The company has many years

size, weight and power (SWaP cores).

of experience in working with infrared detectors,


night vision modules used in combat photogra-

image intensifiers, infrared optics as well as elec-

microbolometer detectors have found their way

phy. These intensifier modules can be used with

tronics, and image processing methods to design

into many important military programs, including

Nikon and Canon digital SLR cameras as well

sensor subsystems.

thermal weapon sights, driver’s vision enhanc-

as many digital camcorders to enhance photog-

ers, enhanced night vision goggles, as well as

raphy and videography at night in low light.

For very high performance infrared imaging





In addition, Sofradir EC has continued to expand its Electrophysics AstroScope line of


For more information, contact KMI Media Group Editor-in-Chief Jeff McKaughan at or search our online archives for related stories at

10 | TISR 1.5

Whatever the platform, the quality of the imaging devices is key. By Henry Canaday TISR Correspondent Fixed wing aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial systems (UASs) and remotely piloted aircraft (RPAs) are providing more and better images for operations on the ground. The number and variety of platforms exploded during the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, especially small UASs. Much emphasis recently has been on upgrading platforms with better imaging equipment and systems for exploiting data for tactical intelligence. Cameras and sensors continue to be refined, becoming more flexible, more robust, more accurate and more compact and light, packed in smaller turrets or gimbals. Stabilization of both mechanisms and images, essential for accurate interpretation, has been improved, even in lighter devices. The Air Force handles the larger unmanned platforms. It currently supports battlefield operations with about 240 medium- and high-altitude RPAs. Lieutenant Colonel John Haynes, spokesman for the Secretary of the Air Force, noted these include 125 MQ-1 Predators, 39 MQ-9 Reapers and 12 RQ-4 Global Hawks. The service provides 60 MQ-1 and MQ-9 full motion video combat air patrols (CAPs), three RQ-4 imagery intelligence CAPs and a single RQ-4 airborne communications CAP. The newest models are Block 10 and 15 MQ-1B Predators and Block 1 MQ-9 Reapers. “Both platforms are long-endurance systems that provide electro-optical (EO) and infrared (IR) full-motion video, and precision-strike capability,” Haynes noted. “The MQ-1 carries two AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, while the MQ-9 can carry up to 3,000 pounds of ordnance including a mix of Hellfire and GPS-guided munitions.” The Air Force has three RQ-4 Global Hawk variants, Blocks 20, 30 and 40. Block 20, also known as the EQ-4 Battlefield Airborne Communications Node, provides airborne communications relay. Block 30 is a multi-intelligence platform with EO, IR and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery. The Air Force expects to retrofit an advanced signalsintelligence payload on this platform in fiscal 2012. The Block 40 Global Hawk is a high-altitude intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platform that carries active electronically scanned array radar for high-resolution SAR imagery and ground moving-target indication for improved battlefield imagery. Block 40 is undergoing test and evaluation, with initial operation anticipated in fiscal 2014. The Air Force plans to upgrade the MQ-1 Predator with secure communications, high-definition video and updates to the ground control station. The service anticipates several enhancements on the MQ-9, including a Block 5 upgrade with new high-definition targeting.

Auto-takeoff and landing capabilities for the MQ-9 are planned in limited numbers for fiscal 2014. An updated ground control station for MQ-1s and MQ-9s is planned for fiscal 2013 with further improvements in human-machine interface in fiscal 2015. Eventually, the station will have multi-aircraft control capability. The Air Force has not set requirements for future medium- or high-altitude RPAs. But Haynes said key attributes will include modularity, ability to operate in adverse weather and contested or denied environments, and use of secure, robust and agile communication. “Additionally, the Air Force anticipates continued development of autonomous capability among its RPA fleet.” Industry has focused intensely on the sensors and systems critical for UASs and RPAs. Many companies work with a variety of technologies that come in different sizes, larger for manned aircraft and Air Force RPAs, smaller and lighter, often much lighter, for low-altitude UASs. Paul Jennison, vice president of sales and new business development at L-3 Wescam, said the irregular nature of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan forced the military to seek more fidelity, resolution and magnification in both EO and IR cameras. Optical cameras for daylight, lowlight cameras for night, short-wave infrared (SWIR) and laser designators had to be developed, miniaturized and fitted on surveillance platforms. L-3 Wescam makes a full range of imaging and targeting turrets. Their product line, known as Wescam’s MX-series, is ideal for airborne platforms ranging from fixed-wing to helicopters and UASs. Its new MX-10 delivers performance of larger MX turrets in a 37-pound package that can carry up to six sensors, including IR and a laser rangefinder, pointer and illuminator. The future will see a move from mid-wave to long-wave IR, Jennison predicted. Customers are also looking for multi-spectral imaging and improved stabilization. “You will be able to get images in all conditions and all times of the day, you will see that increase,” he said. Goodrich ISR Systems’ Cloud Cap Technology specializes in low size, weight and power gimbals for the RQ-7 Shadow and smaller UASs, explained Doug Johnson, Cloud Cap’s business development director. Goodrich’s Tase 100 is a 1-pound stabilized camera system that can carry either a Sony full motion color camera or a full motion FLIR IR camera. Goodrich provides the gimbal, video processor, stabilization and software for control and ground display. The Tase 100 pans or tilts on command and can lock on an object or set of grid coordinates. “It TISR  1.5 | 11

Left: The MX-series of turrets is small enough to fit on a variety of platforms, but large enough to carry an array of optics. [Photo courtesy of L-3 Wescam] Right: The Otus-170 is a light, two-sensor gimbal, and is one of the Otus-range of devices. [Photo courtesy of DST Control]

can track vehicles or follow a road or pipeline that you want to inspect,” Johnson said. The system can also provide its own geo-location so that users know where they are looking. The Tase 200 weighs 2.3 pounds and yields better stabilization. Users can switch between the EO and IR cameras. Images are stabilized electronically so each frame is aligned with the prior frame, despite high-frequency vibrations. At 5.5 pounds the Tase 300 adds an optional laser pointer and rangefinder to its EO and IR cameras and the ability to step-zoom the IR camera. This heavier model also increases stabilization. Goodrich’s newest gimbal, the Tase 400, features a mid-wave infrared camera with continuous zoom from 20 degree to 2 degree field of view, a 36 times zoom daylight camera, and unsurpassed stability with fiber optic gyros and advanced electronic stabilization techniques. In addition, this gimbal comes with Paul Jennison a third payload bay that is configurable to host a range of other options including a laser rangefinder, pointer or designator. “Our big advantage is the software is plug-and-play with published specifications and open standards,” Johnson noted. “We are the only open-system provider. Users can write their own interfaces.” The Tase series is aimed at UASs and manned aircraft that operate at medium altitudes. Another Goodrich division supports other UASs. “We support the Shadow, TigerShark, Fury, Bat and KillerBee,” Johnson said. He predicted that Cloud Cap will have several exciting new products in the coming year. UAV Vision has developed a number of gyro-stabilized daylight, ultraviolet and IR camera gimbals for UASs. “We also offer complete surveillance solutions, including geo-referencing hardware, operator control stations and communications for simultaneous and multiple video streams and control of the gimbal,” noted Dr. Daniel Fitzgerald, the sales and marketing director. UAV Vision recently introduced the CM160, which carries two sensors, usually EO and IR, but customizable for user requirements. It can also mount a high-resolution still camera with 16-Megapixel images. The 1.7-kilogram CM160 stabilizes pan and tilt as well as cameras, is weather-proof and can handle high velocities. The 12 | TISR 1.5

company also offers smaller single-sensor cameras and large cameras suited for inspection tasks such as power line inspection. Fitzgerald said UAV Vision gimbals have been used for tactical surveillance on both UASs and manned aircraft, as well as for a wide variety of civilian purposes. He cited quality, comprehensive surveillance solutions, freedom from export restrictions, fast delivery, open protocols, full customization and low cost as advantages of the firm’s products. As new sensors are released, UAV Vision will continue to support the latest sensors in its gimbals. The CM160 has been delivered to the U.S. Navy and Fitzgerald hopes to do more business with the U.S. military. A broadcast-quality video camera for the CM160 gimbal is currently being tested. DST Control makes small gimbals for UASs, explained Marketing Director Magnus Sundstedt. These carry both EO and IR cameras, as well as laser rangefinders and pointers. “Our advantage is size and price; they have very high performance, but are cost-effective,” Sundstedt noted, adding that stabilization is very good and compares to that of bigger gimbals. At 1.2 kilograms, DST’s Otus-U135 is very small. Yet it can carry a Sony camera or IR imager, plus a laser rangefinder with up to 1,500meter range. At 2.1 kilograms, the Otus-L170 is also very light. The two-sensor device has advanced features like geo-location and geo-positioning and sufficient computational power for vehicle control. The standard L170 comes with a Sony EO camera and an uncooled IR imager. It can also mount a laser rangefinder with up to 4,000-meter range. The 2.3-kilogram Otus-L205 carries a laser rangefinder that works up to 4,000 meters, can carry a Canon or Sony high-definition camera with flash disk, a laser illuminator and a FLIR IR camera. The Otus-U250 houses a wide variety of EO and IR payloads. The standard configuration includes a six-power, continuous-zoom uncooled IR, a video camera or complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) camera and a laser rangefinder and pointer, all in an 8- to 12-kilogram package. The Otus series also has optional functions such as video tracking and recording, all integrated within the gimbal. In fall 2011, DST will offer a 10-inch gimbal with larger EO and IR cameras. Stark Aerospace, a subsidiary of IAI North America, offers three imaging lines, according to Dave Ricker, vice president of flight operations. Stark produces the Hunter MQ-5B and Heron I UASs, its sensors division makes the Plug-in Optronic Payload (POP) 300 series of EO/IR sensors, and Stark also offers ISR flight services with the Heron I mediumaltitude, long-endurance UAS. Distinctively, the Heron can do automatic take-offs and landings, with a payload capacity of 550 pounds. “The rest of unmanned vehicles are moving Magnus Sundstedt in that direction, however, the Heron is currently the only system on the ket with a robust automatic takeoff and landing system,” Ricker said. And Heron can take off and land in up to 25 knots of crosswind. Stark UAS payloads include air-to-air and air-to-surface radar which is utilized for situational awareness and collision avoidance, another difference from the present capabilities of competitive solutions.

On the sensor side, Ricker believes that the POP series is the only true plug-and-play package, with disassembly into a few line-replaceable units for practical field repair. Stark, in efforts with IAI’s Tamam, is working on upgrading the EO and IR sensors in the next generation of the POP 300. Ball Aerospace provides the image intensifier (I2) low-light cameras for UASs, said Steve Shimer, advanced systems manager for antenna and video technologies. These include cameras for the Predator and Raytheon’s multispectral targeting system of sensors. The company’s patented anti-blooming Steve Shimer technology (ABT-21) allows its cameras to see through typical bright-light glare found with standard nighttime images. ABT-21 virtually eliminates blooming, the blinding glare surrounding a light source against a dark background, by automatically adapting to accommodate varying light levels in real time. Ball technology also maximizes inter-scene dynamic range with instant response to rapidly changing lighting from starlight to full daylight. Standard technologies allow only three orders of magnitude in viewing, Ball increases that range dramatically. Ball is introducing an extremely small military camera to fit in very small gimbals. Shimer said there is a trend now to solid-state low-light

cameras. Ball is working with solid-state CMOS cameras, and Shimer expects this solid-state device to rival I2 cameras in three to five years. The company is also working with the Army on sparse-color for better performance of color cameras in low-light conditions. DRS Technologies is introducing a new device that will provide real-time, three-dimensional mapping on-demand from manned or unmanned aircraft, summarized Ed Dugic, business development manager for unmanned systems. Current military mapping databases may not reflect changes in dynamic environments, such as cities, or places where adversaries have changed structures. The DRS device is about 2.5 feet in diameter and can fit on UASs, for instance, DRS’s own Sentry. It has an inexpensive commercial digital camera and an inertial measurement unit. The UAS, programmed to hit certain waypoints, snaps overlapping pictures which can then be sent to a ground station and processed for a high-definition monitor to be viewed with 3-D goggles. Or the same pictures can be sent to a soldier’s personal device, such as an Android, and software will calculate the elevation of objects of interest. Horizontal accuracy is about 1.5 meters and vertical accuracy 2.5 meters, Dugic said. He expects the device to be on the market in six to 12 months. O

For more information, contact KMI Media Group Editor-in-Chief Jeff McKaughan at or search our online archives for related stories at

The Association of the U.S. Army’s Institute of Land Warfare

Army Aviation Symposium and Exposition A Professional Development Forum

11 -13 January 2012 Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center National Harbor, Maryland

Army Aviation: Meeting the Needs of our Nation, Today and Tomorrow Register online at For more information contact: AUSA, Industry Affairs Phone: 800-336-4570, ext. 365


TISR  1.5 | 13

Combat ID System

Creating a Moving Network Node

A combat identification system developed by Cubic Defense Applications, the defense systems business of Cubic Corporation, exceeded expectations during a recent U.S. and coalition forces assessment of technologies designed to reduce friendly fire casualties and increase situational awareness. Cubic’s Dismounted Combat ID with Target Location and Navigation (DCID-TALON) went through several tough tests during Bold Quest 2011 at Camp Atterbury, Ind. The multifunction technology was tested in sun, rain, smoke, haze, through trees and windows, and at a distance. It was tested on moving soldiers who were walking, riding in vehicles, and engaging in simulated dry-fire and live-fire combat scenarios. “DCID-TALON has generated interest in U.S. military circles because it integrates multiple functions, including both Combat ID and improved situational awareness, within the combat scope familiar to ground forces without adding weight or requiring troops to carry and learn a complex new technology,” said Brad Feldmann, president of Cubic Defense Applications. “The Bold Quest 2011 demonstration showed that DCID-TALON merits serious study as a potential solution to the problem of fratricide for the U.S. and its allies.” The system consists of a combat rifle scope integrated with multiple sensors plus an invisible two-way optical communications link to instantly identify friendly forces and determine target grid coordinates, which are displayed within the sight view of the scope. The modular, small, lightweight, power-efficient package has operational ranges from a few meters to far beyond the effective range of the weapon. The multifunction scope works with optical tags worn by individual dismounted soldiers. In a combat ID scenario, a soldier encountering an unknown figure places the target in his crosshairs and simply presses a switch to interrogate the object. If the object is a friendly equipped with optical tags, the shooter’s encoded laser message is reflected off the object’s tags and returned together with a new friend ID code. The word “Friend” then flashes in the scope’s display. If the target has no tags, a question mark appears on the display. In either case, the target’s range, azimuth and grid location are shown to the shooter to increase battlefield situational awareness. The all-optical system can also be configured for information sharing in today’s network-centric combat environment. During the demonstration, a data link provided dismounted soldier data from DCID-TALON to a government server for enhanced situational awareness. In one test, data from the system was also sent to an AWACS aircraft circling overhead within seconds. In addition, Cubic provided a real-time display of target pairings overlaid on Google maps.

The new General Dynamics C4 Systems’ Sidewinder vehicle mount cost-effectively equips vehicles that do not have communications capability with tactical radios operating in the Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW) network. An accessory for the networking AN/PRC-154 Rifleman radio, the Sidewinder transitions the radio from a body-worn radio to a vehicle-mounted radio, augmenting its power and extending its range. Just as quickly, the Rifleman radio can be removed from the Sidewinder while maintaining connectivity with the tactical network. “The Sidewinder vehicle mount is a stellar example of how the rapid acquisition process can work to equip military users with network connectivity in virtually any military vehicle,” said Chris Brady, vice president of assured communications for General Dynamics C4 Systems. “Moreover, the Sidewinder/ Rifleman radio combination costs two-thirds less than legacy man-pack solutions and it easily loads the voice, video and data communications capabilities into tactical vehicles.” The Sidewinder’s hardware assembly includes the 20-watt power amplifier from another JTRS HMS radio, the AN/PRC-155, and connectors that work with the vehicles’ existing intercom systems and are compatible with standard mounting trays that most vehicles already have in place.

14 | TISR 1.5

Remote Recon Gathering Elbit Systems’ subsidiary, Elbit Systems Electro-optics Elop, recently debuted the Engager, a new advanced remote reconnaissance gathering system. Designed for day and night operations, the Engager is highly suited for missions such as intelligence gathering and tracking of long-range targets and laser-guided weapon designation. The system has high camouflage capabilities and is remotely operated, enabling intelligence gathering while avoiding contact with enemy forces operating in the area. Developed especially for the modern battlefield’s demands of SWAP (size, weight and power), this unique system excels in low energy consumption, compact size and low weight—meeting the requirements of infantry and special forces’ mission profiles. Adi Dar, Elop’s general manager, said, “The Engager is the last word in solutions for meeting the challenges of intelligence gathering missions. It offers enhanced reconnaissance, while providing force survivability and safety thanks to an operational concept that enables a remote and covert mission profile with improved tactical intelligence gathering capabilities. The most sophisticated capabilities were combined in the development process of this system, positioning Elop as a world leader in the field of miniaturized designation, day/night vision systems and mission management and analysis, optimizing the intelligence gathering and targeting process. The Engager is an additional leap forward in the field of tactical intelligence gathering systems developed by Elop, joining the Lotus-CR and Coral-CR, which are already in service with the IDF and other leading armies in the world.”

Compiled by KMI Media Group staff

Suitcase Portable Receive Suite Windmill International Inc. has received a $9 million order for their KA-10 suitcase portable receive suite (SPRS) for Central Command special forces in Afghanistan. The order included KA-10s, training and product support. Windmill’s KA-10 SPRS is a highly-portable, rugged satellite receiver system developed to support special operations forces deployed overseas. The battle-ready KA-10 conveniently brings crucial command center information and data to the in-field warfighter, substantially improving mission success probabilities and saving lives. The KA-10 can withstand a variety of adverse environmental conditions, including high humidity, blowing sand, rain and extreme heat/cold. The SPRS has passed all MIL-STD-810F requirements. The SPRS has Global Broadcast Service (GBS) broadcast reception capability at up to 45Mb/ sec-from UHF Follow-On and Wideband Global SATCOM transponders. The SPRS supports operation with high-assurance IP encryption to support a single security enclave from Secret up to Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information classification. Satellite acquisition time is approximately three minutes due to Windmill’s patented auto-acquisition capability. The SPRS is designed to be battery operated. This truly portable unit weighs just 32 pounds in tactical carry mode. Accessible GBS products include unmanned aircraft systems video and imagery; weather, terrain, geospatial and mapping information; forward looking infrared imagery; streaming video, web content replication and other large files.

Highly Adaptable Multi-Mission Radar Northrop Grumman Corporation has successfully demonstrated the highly adaptable multi-mission radar (HAMMR), which is a derivative of the Defense Department’s ground-based fighter radar (GBFR)—a multi-mission ground tactical radar designed to provide the U.S. Army with counter-rocket, artillery and mortar as well as air defense capabilities while on-the-move. The GBFR contract was awarded to Northrop Grumman in 2009 by the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center at Redstone Arsenal, Ala. HAMMR features a compact, lightweight ground configuration that employs active electronically scanned array (AESA) antenna

technology from airborne fighter aircraft. In this configuration, the radar provides 360-degree coverage while mounted and moving on a vehicle and is easily deployable from a variety of expeditionary platforms, providing the rapid transport capability required by today’s warfighter. The testing took place at the Army’s Yuma Proving Grounds. “HAMMR’s on-the-move capacity, as demonstrated at Yuma, will provide the U.S. ground forces with critical capabilities that ensure mission success in today’s irregular warfare environment,” said John Jadik, vice president of weapons and sensors for Northrop Grumman’s Land and Self Protection Systems Division. The heart of the HAMMR system, the AESA, is composed of more than 1,000 programmable transmit/receive modules that enable HAMMR to successfully detect, track and engage numerous target types, at multiple positions, and in varying paths and trajectories. The flexibility of HAMMR’s AESA architecture enables growth to address new threats without redesigning the system, a major benefit compared to existing radar systems.

Discreet Persistent Situational Awareness A wireless sensor network system developed by Lockheed Martin can enhance the way users obtain discreet persistent situational awareness and characterization of their surroundings. The self-powered ad-hoc network (SPAN) system, a network of field-and-forget ground sensors, provides unobtrusive, continuous surveillance supporting multiple missions and applications. “SPAN is a mesh network of self-organizing, self-healing sensors,” said Macy W. Summers, vice president with Lockheed Martin IS&GS-Defense. “The typical sensor fits in the palm of your hand and can be readily concealed in camouflage housings.” SPAN’s power management harvests energy from its surroundings to provide perpetually powered sensors. Its ultra-low sensor cost is predicated on the fact that each node within the SPAN network incorporates an energy harvesting subsystem that re-charges itself using simple energy sources in its surrounding environment. This innovation negates typical life and cost concerns of batteries and reduces the manual deployment and servicing. Battery life can be a critical differentiator when determining the safety of those in harm’s way. The system’s sensor network uses a touch screen interface to position the nodes. Information from this mesh is locally processed using proprietary algorithms that reduce false alarms, providing intelligent situational awareness that can be integrated in military, border patrol and structural monitoring applications. This smart sensor network can cue a camera or unmanned aerial vehicle to further study an area or call an engineer when a pipeline or bridge structure is in danger of fracture. The system’s lighter power demand extends operational range, and its inconspicuous sensors reduce the likelihood of discovery and tampering, increasing the realization.

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ISR Capacity Builder

Q& A

Providing Integrated Cross-domain ISR for the Decisive Advantage

Major General Robert P. “Bob” Otto Commander Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency Major General Robert P. “Bob” Otto is the commander, Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. Otto is responsible for providing multisource ISR products, applications, capabilities and resources, as well as Cyber ISR forces and expertise. The AF ISR Agency includes the 70th and 480th ISR Wings; National Air and Space Intelligence Center; Air Force Technical Applications Center; 361st Special Operations Forces ISR Group; and all Air Force cryptologic operations. In his position as AF ISR Agency commander, he also serves as the commander of the Service Cryptologic Component. In this capacity, he is responsible to the director, National Security Agency, and chief, Central Security Service, as the Air Force’s sole authority for matters involving the conduct of cryptologic activities, including the spectrum of missions directly related to both tactical war fighting and national-level operations. In addition, as the Air Force Geospatial Intelligence Element commander, Otto facilitates AF GEOINT federation and integration into the National System for Geospatial Intelligence; orchestrates programmatic, policy and systemic requirements developed by the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance at Headquarters U.S. Air Force; and organizes, trains, equips and presents AF GEOINT forces. Otto entered the Air Force in 1982 as a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy. He has served as a squadron, group and wing commander. His staff duties include three tours at Headquarters U.S. Air Force, one tour with the Operations Directorate on the Joint Staff, and one tour at Headquarters, Air Education and Training Command. He has also served as the chief of staff of the Air Force Chair and professor of military strategy at the National War College. He is a command pilot with more than 2,800 hours in the U-2, RQ-4, F-15, AT-38, T-38, O-2 and OT-37, with combat and combat support hours in Operation Southern Watch. His most recent deployment was in 2011 as the Air Forces Central Command Combined Air Operations Center Director, overseeing Air Force operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Southwest Asia. Q: Can you briefly explain the organizational structure of the agency? A: Certainly. Essentially, we have two wings and two centers and then a headquarters overall. Attached to our headquarters here we have 16 | TISR 1.5

two liaison offices. There’s the Air Force Cryptologic Office and the Air Force GEOINT Office, and there’s also a separate reporting group, the 361st Intelligence, Surveillance Reconnaissance Group, and they provide direct support to our Special Operations Command. By law, the Air Force ISR Agency is the service cryptologic component and what that means is that as the commander, it’s my responsibility and I have the authority to ensure that cryptologic billets are in fact providing that function to the National Security Agency. And so our Air Force Cryptologic Office, or AFCO, serves as our direct link to the National Security Agency. The reason that’s important is because we mirror that on the GEOINT side, as we are also the Air Force Geospatial-Intelligence Element. It’s a very similar function; it’s not established by law but it does the same basic job. Our mission is to deliver a decisive advantage by providing integrated cross-domain ISR to our service, joint and international partners. That’s why we exist. Our agency has about 20,000 people around the world—more than 70-plus locations. We are a total force in the sense that we have Guardsmen and Reservists and a large number of civilians. Our enlisted folks make up about 73 percent of our workforce. That’s quite a bit higher than the Air Force average; the Air Force average is 55 percent. The other thing that’s unique about us is that in the officer corps we’ve got a large number of scientists and engineers; about onefourth of our people are scientists and engineers and that’s somewhat

unusual. That’s also mirrored on the civilian side; about 25 percent are intel and 40 percent are scientists and engineers. In fact, we are the secondlargest employer of scientists and engineers in the Air Force. Q: And the wings and centers? A: As I mentioned, we have two wings and two centers. One of the wings is the 480th ISR wing, headquartered out of Langley. What they do is operate and maintain the Air Force’s Distributed Common Ground System, doing the collection, processing, exploitation and dissemination of ISR from airborne platforms like the U-2 Dragon Lady, the RQ-4 Global Hawk, the MQ-1 Predator and the MQ-9 Reaper. Then there’s the 70th ISR wing, headquartered at Fort Meade, Md., and that’s a cryptologic wing. What they do is train and equip crytologists and information operation specialists to do that kind of work. The first of the two centers is the Air Force Technical Application Center in Florida, focusing on ISR collection assets combine a balanced mix of manned and unmanned systems. Collection is difficult but other challenges technical measurements and monitoring nuclear are inherent in the analysis of the data and the dissemination of actionable intelligence. [Photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force] treaty compliance. The other is the National Air and Space Intelligence Center [NASIC], which is the to grow our structure in order to process and exploit all of the informasource of air and space intelligence for DoD. What they do is produce tion for them prior to providing them with the intelligence they need integrated, predictive, specialized intelligence. to accomplish their mission. Q: Is the current structure contemporary with your mission expectaQ: How would you capsulize the future of the Air Force ISR Agency? tions, and is its architecture such that it allows you to grow and meet the needs in the future? A: Well, we continue to build capacity at a breathtaking pace in order to take these combat operations through the find, fix and finish timeA: It really is. We have seen just a dramatic increase in the number line. of ISR platforms and capabilities since 9/11, and our organization has The reason for that is pretty clear to me: The difficult piece in this changed dramatically in order to keep pace. current conflict in Afghanistan is not the ‘finish,’ it’s ‘finding’ and ‘fixWe have continued to evolve in the ways that are necessary to meet ing.’ Finding means using finished intelligence to find the high-value the needs of our warfighters today, but we still have some room to go. targets, whether people or IED manufacturing facilities, for example. We need to do a better job in terms of getting in front of a rapid acquiThe fix means we’ve got to locate them at a specific moment at time, sition curve; we’re working with the Air Force Materiel Command so that combat forces can either take them down or capture them or much earlier in the process so that we can do that. We’re also trying to what have you. institute service-oriented architectures, or SOAs, because those leverThe kind of conflicts that we’re in absolutely rely upon the intelage the commercial cloud technologies and that helps us to be more ligence that we produce, and that fact places the Air Force ISR Agency flexible in terms of our basic framework. at a historic moment. This robust demand for ISR represents both We continue to expand the wings and what they do, as well as the an opportunity and an obligation. We will continue to build a robust, centers and what they focus on, but there are some internal organizaresponsive and flexible enterprise that leverages air, space and cybertional structure issues that we’re looking at for the future. space capability based on what we’ve learned over the past decade and what we can reasonably foresee in the coming future. Q: You said that your command has gone through dramatic changes since 9/11. Can you expand on that a bit? Q: What are the main tenets of your commander’s guidance? A: One of the biggest changes is in the 480th, which is providing full A: There are five of them. The first one is, we’re going to play a critical motion video exploitation: Just think of how far the Air Force has role in the current efforts by providing relevant, timely and decisioncome. In 2001 we had just a handful of combat air patrols that needed quality ISR. to be exploited, and today we have over 60 combat air patrols—and Second, we are going to maintain a high state of readiness so we’re that’s just looking at remotely piloted aircraft, plus the MC-12s, which ready to deploy downrange or to other conflicts. is another dozen combat air patrols or so. Third, we’re going to be prepared to support contingencies when The Air Force has grown a tremendous capability to support the the battlespace is contested or denied; today in Afghanistan, that is a forces downrange with these CAPs and full motion video. We have had

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battlespace in which we essentially own the skies. You can envision future conflicts where that will be contested or even denied, and we need to be able to support contingencies across that range of operations. Fourth, we need to seek resource-neutral solutions, because clearly America is facing fiscal issues and we need to find ways to deliver worthwhile capabilities at less cost to the taxpayer, so we are trying to ensure that the solutions we come up with are at least resource-neutral. And then finally, we want to be an agile, results-focused organization, one that collaborates with other agencies and one that’s looking to best serve the nation. We think that you can in fact breed agility. That is one of those things that with practice, the right structures and the right command approach, we should be able to accomplish easily.

real-time intelligence at the joint task force level and below. Its focus is on the theater fight and organizations below that. We have geographically separated locations, but they’re all networked. That means that if one of the nodes goes down in our enterprise, we can shift the workload to another one. It also means that each of them specializes in a different area of the world, but if the requirement is greater than that one node, we can federate out some of the information requirements to other nodes in order to process and in turn, remain more responsive to our customers. This ensures that we can be more agile in providing the requirements of the warfighter. It’s a total force capability, by the way; we are heavily reliant on the Air National Guard and Reserve in addition to the active duty in order to meet our requirements. Q: How does this system dovetail with other services’ DCGSs?

Q: What is your role in guiding the development, growth and education of future ISR professionals before they get to your agency? A: Before they get to our agency it’s not our focus, but we are engaged in it. The fact is, it takes anywhere from half a year to two years to fully train an intelligence airman, depending on their specialty. What we do is collaborate with the Air Education and Training Command and sister agencies and services to ensure that the course training standards—how we measure success—are suitable for our needs. From the moment an airman or officer gets an assignment to Air Force ISR Agency our functional managers have oversight. The functional managers coordinate with Air Education and Training Command and the individual member in order to align training before an airman arrives at an Agency location. Once the airmen are selected, we also prepare them prior to their assignment to one of our locations. We have functional managers that coordinate all of the training pipelines so that they show up ready to go on the mission. Q: There are numerous ISR data collection assets; what are some of your initiatives to store, catalog, retrieve and analyze all the data to be able to sort through the noise from the information? A: Well, we’ve got to continue to grow our internal data storage and archival capacity, because the fact is that the data volumes are skyrocketing, and it underscores the need to continue to invest in our Air Force Distributed Common Ground Systemwide area network, and its East and West Coast data storage hubs. We need to expand those; they’re essentially the backbone of our data enterprise. We’re looking at Web-based applications and operator-produced products, because then we can adapt more quickly to emerging situations. We want to ensure that our data is pushed and integrated into national data streams so that we can provide a more holistic analytic view for follow-on analysis. Q: Speaking of the Distributed Common Ground System, it is a vital link to your network. Can you provide me with an update on the current system status and what elements are being enhanced to improve capabilities? A: The Air Force Distributed Common Ground System—AF DCGS— is the Air Force’s premier globally networked intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance weapons system. What we do is produce intelligence information collected by the U-2, the RQ-4, the MQ-9 the MQ-1 and other airborne platforms that provides multi-source, near 18 | TISR 1.5

A: They are intertwined. Basically the Department of Defense produced the concept of the DCGS Integrated Backbone, or DIB, and that’s a common link between our service intelligence providers. This year, the Air Force fielded a new base line, N.2, and that gave us the ability to leverage the DIB so that whatever we collect, whatever we store, the other services can see it if they’re connected to the DIB. As we get down the road and all the services come on board, it will significantly enhance our ability to share data. Q: How do you directly support Air Force Special Operations Command? A: A couple of years ago, in 2008, we established the 361st Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance Group at Hurlburt Field as a direct support group to AFSOC and to Joint Special Operations Command. Their entire mission is to train and do specialized SOF ISR operations, alongside special operations forces partners. They do this as crewmembers on SOF aircraft and they also do it on the ground as direct support cryptologic operators. Our crewmembers have already flown/supported more than 30,000 sorties in the past year alone, and those sorties triggered 1,500 SOF assaults, resulted in more than 7,000 enemies detained or killed in action. We partner extremely closely with the special operations forces in order to provide that critical intelligence support. One note on that—I told you that the 361st was direct support to SOF, but they’re also expanding now into MC-12 operations, which is the Beechcraft King airplane. The MC-12 is rapidly becoming an effective platform in a variety of SOF and conventional roles, so that group is expanding its focus a little bit. Q: Any closing thoughts on the men, women and mission of the ISR Agency? A: We have an incredibly talented group of enlisted, officers and civilians, who are absolutely focused on our vision of being the preeminent ISR enterprise. I believe that we need to invest in leadership development and training standardization as well as the physical well-being of our members. We need to promote integrity; we need to make sure that we reward excellence in performance and that we encourage and foster mutual respect. I believe that developing and caring for our people is going to be the cornerstone to our mission of delivering relevant and timely ISR. O

Managing the Future The coming years envision continuing engagement of U.S. and coalition forces on a global scale. Those years also seem destined for budget reductions of varying degrees. ISR is a true battlefield enabler for mission success and survivability. It is likely that ISR, as a budget element, will see less reduction across the board than other areas. However, technologies and programs will have to show results and innovation in order to survive. Tactical ISR Technology was interested as to what technologies and innovations industrial suppliers see as delivering the most results for the future warfighter and were driving their research and investments. We recently surveyed a number of leading ISR-focused companies to gauge their plan and focus for 2012. Their responses give a quick snapshot of their understanding of the challenges and opportunities of the coming year and where their attention will be directed.

AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems Dave Landis Managing Director, Business Development Just like in our homes and businesses, our government is doing more with less. Every asset needs to be multi-mission capable, reliable and high-performing over a long life. Our goal is to provide the U.S. Department of Defense technology enhancements that will help them execute the mission successfully, despite the challenges of a budget-constrained environment. Our Shadow M2 is the next generation of our battle-proven Shadow tactical unmanned aircraft system, incorporating revolutionary enhancements including dual payload bays and a new Lycoming heavy-fuel engine for greater reliability and performance, while utilizing all the

same support equipment to reduce cost and streamline logistics. We’ve added to the Shadow system’s current communications relay laser designation and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission capability with new multi-mission payloads. Housed in a modular pod, multi-mission payloads can be swapped based on the mission requirement. Early applications address urgent warfighter requirements including secure, third-generation telecommunications uplink and downlink; signals intelligence; measurement and signatures intelligence; cyberspace survey, interdiction and attack; state-of-the-art communications; synthetic aperture radar; and precision geo-location. We also are making performance enhancements to our universal ground control

station (UGCS), built around our involvement in the DoD UAS Control Segment, or UCS, working group. The group’s goals include development of common architecture and interface standards for UAS command and control with data dissemination programs. We’re applying lessons learned to the UGCS to further enhance its interoperability and commonality while supporting multiple DoD customers. Universal command and control capability for multiple unmanned aircraft system models helps our customers reduce training and logistics costs over the entire life of their systems. All of these are smart, affordable ways to make our customers’ assets even more agile and even more affordable—not just at the point of purchase, but over a long, rich and useful life.

Boeing Surveillance and Engagement Tim Peters Vice President and General Manager Boeing is committed to providing the warfighter with world-class tactical ISR capabilities and services. We understand our domestic and international customers are faced with unprecedented budget and schedule pressures, and we are positioned to respond to their needs either within or outside of the traditional procurement model. To get the most

from every dollar, customers can build on investments made in military derivative aircraft, such as the P-8, which continues to meet a growing list of requirements worldwide. Customers can enlist Insitu, a Boeing subsidiary, to provide real-time information with its ScanEagle unmanned aircraft system—on a fee-for-service basis. To be competitive in this market, Boeing will continue to invest in open architecture and commercial off-the-shelf hardware and software.

The company is working to adapt existing, commercially available tools tailored to address military requirements, such as cloud computing for processing, management and storage of data. It will be essential that these systems are scalable and can be used across multiple ground and airborne, manned and unmanned platforms. In the last year, Boeing has acquired Argon ST and DRT to help provide these scalable systems to its customers.

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Over the past 10 years, performance based logistics (PBL) has emerged as a means to deliver affordable readiness to the warfighter. A PBL arrangement allows the government to decide what level of capability it needs, and not only ensure that it gets that best value, but also incentivizes continuous improvements in the products and the processes both in

the government and industry facilities and workforces. Boeing supports 16 PBL programs on contract today. Boeing continues to build on its expertise in delivering best-value military derivative aircraft and looks to grow that capability beyond Boeing platforms. As worldwide leader in the support of Boeing and select non-Boeing products,

we provide total support solutions focused on maximizing the readiness and effectiveness of fielded systems. Boeing helps its customers continue meeting the defense and security needs presented by a rapidly changing world by reducing development risk and providing affordable, low-risk solutions that can address multiple mission capabilities

Mav6 A. Jay Harrison Founder and Managing Director In recent years, DoD has had the luxury of purchasing new aircraft, architectures, infrastructure, etc. every time a new ISR solution was deployed. Constantly changing threats imply a near constant stream of new ISR innovations, yet diminishing budgets make it all but impossible to sustain this acquisition model. So, the question is: how can the defense industry accommodate better, cheaper and faster relative to the operationalization of new ISR solutions? Mav6’s approach to this problem centers on the development of non-proprietary, open standards-based architectures that make it possible to rapidly and cost-effectively integrate ISR sensors, communications and data processing

sub-systems into turn-key solutions for specific (often transitory) missions. The idea is to provide a highly flexible and scalable framework within which third-party ISR technologies (developmental, COTS, GOTS, etc.) can be quickly “composed” to form just-in-time capabilities for a fraction of the cost of “purpose-built” solutions. At one end of the spectrum, Mav6 has developed a modular payload integration infrastructure (PII) for the M1400-class airship as part of the Air Force Blue Devil Block II program. The PII leverages an innovative rail system that hosts multiple NATO-standard 463L half-pallets. The half-pallets can be pre-integrated with a wide variety of ISR systems, enabling installation of fully provisioned payloads in less than one hour. At the other end of the spectrum, Mav6 is developing modular payload integration architectures for platforms as

small as the Raven TUAV and Wasp micro-UAV, enabling operators in the field to customize their airframes with a variety of payload options in a manner that minimizes platform performance penalties. As a nation we can no longer predict where the threat is going with any real certainty, and DoD cannot afford to fund a standing arsenal of ISR capabilities for every possible contingency. The future of ISR is based on delivering flexible solutions that can be rapidly and cost-effectively assembled on a just-in-time basis to combat disruptive threats with a limited operational life span; solutions that can be easily re-invented (changed or modified) by industry and operational end-users alike to accommodate the unforeseen exigencies that are a mainstay of the contemporary threat environment.

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. Christopher Pehrson Director of Strategic Development General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA-ASI) specializes in the design, development and production of revolutionary, cost-effective unmanned aircraft systems consisting of versatile remotely piloted aircraft and net-centric ground control stations (GCS). Additionally, our state-of-the-art airborne sensor systems enhance the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability of both manned and unmanned airborne platforms. GA-ASI has a long track record of developing game-changing UAS and sensor technology through independent research and development (IR&D), leading to innovations such as Predator (MQ-1) and Predator B (MQ-9 Reaper). The unprecedented capabilities of these UAS continue to enhance the effectiveness of our armed

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forces, reduce combat casualties, and secure our nation’s borders. Building on the success of the Predator program, Predator B was designed to fly twice as fast (240 KTAS), fly twice as high (50,000 feet), and carry 500 percent more payload (3,850 pounds) than its battle-proven predecessor. Similarly, GA-ASI invested IR&D to develop the next-generation UAS, the Predator C Avenger. The jet-powered, multi-mission Avenger delivers another leap in UAS performance and capability with an unrefueled endurance of 18 hours, speed of 400 KTAS, and payload capacity of 6,500 pounds. In conjunction with the Avenger, the advanced cockpit GCS is being developed under a U.S. Air Force contract, which will offer significantly improved situational awareness, reduced pilot workload and more mission flexibility. Our IR&D investments in radars, electrooptical/infrared sensors and laser technologies

are delivering equally compelling results. The Lynx multi-mode radar is a long-range, wide-area surveillance sensor capable of producing high-resolution synthetic aperture radar imagery, detecting and tracking moving vehicles and dismounts, as well as hidden improvised explosive devices. Lynx provides an all-weather, day or night cross-cueing capability to other sensors and provides a maritime widearea surveillance capability as well. Through U.S. government contracts and IR&D investment, GA-ASI is also developing leap-ahead technologies such as the HELLADS directed energy laser weapon system. HELLADS seeks to demonstrate a 150 kilowatt laser that can be mounted on platforms such as small patrol ships, combat vehicles, fighter aircraft and potentially, GA ASI’s own UAS aircraft. O

Air Force ISR Agency Overview The Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency, with headquarters at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, was activated June 8, 2007. Formerly known as the Air Intelligence Agency, the Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency is aligned under the Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance as a field operating agency. Major elements of the agency are described below.

AFTAC The Air Force Technical Applications Center (AFTAC) is a surveillance organization subordinate to the Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency at Lackland AFB, Texas. AFTAC is at Patrick Air Force Base on Florida’s east coast and is the sole Department of Defense agency operating and maintaining a global network of nuclear event detection sensors. There are 10 detachments, four operating locations and more than 60 unmanned equipment locations around the world that support the long-range detection mission. AFTAC employs more than 1,000 military, civilian and contract personnel. AFTAC’s global network of nuclear event detection sensors is called the U.S. Atomic Energy Detection System. Once the USAEDS senses a disturbance underground, underwater, in the atmosphere or in space, the event is analyzed for nuclear

identification and findings are reported to senior U.S. decision-makers through Headquarters U.S. Air Force. AFTAC’s nuclear event detection mission is directly linked to its nuclear treaty-monitoring mission. AFTAC monitors signatory countries’ compliance with the 1963 Limited Test Ban Treaty—this treaty prohibits nuclear testing anywhere but underground, and prohibits the venting of nuclear debris or radiation from those tests into the atmosphere outside the country’s national borders. AFTAC also monitors the Threshold Test Ban Treaty of 1974 and the Peaceful Nuclear Explosion Treaty of 1976. The 1974 treaty limits the size of underground nuclear tests to 150 kilotons, while the 1976 treaty prohibits the testing of nuclear devices outside of agreed treaty sites. AFTAC is on the leading edge of technological research and the evaluation of verification technologies for current and future treaties involving weapons of mass destruction that threaten national security. In addition, AFTAC’s unique capabilities and resources can be leveraged during national and international disasters. Recently, AFTAC was called upon to respond to the 9.0 earthquake in Fukushima, Japan, and the ensuing nuclear reactor crisis. AFTAC was able to provide accurate radiation dose estimates to Pacific Command leadership, which were crucial for evaluating the safety of U.S. personnel stationed in Japan. In 2011, AFTAC broke ground on a $158 million facilities recapitalization project—

the Air Force’s largest military construction project in FY11. The project includes two operational facilities, a 276,000 square foot headquarters replacement facility and a 38,000 square foot radiochemistry laboratory. Additionally, the project includes a 23,000 square foot central utility plant and a four-story parking structure. The Army Corps of Engineers awarded the design/ build construction contract in June 2011. Major construction will begin in January 2012 with beneficial occupancy expected in January 2014.

NASIC The National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC) is DoD’s primary source for foreign air and space threats. NASIC creates integrated, predictive intelligence in the air, space and cyberspace domains enabling full spectrum military operations, force modernization and policymaking. NASIC analysts create predictive intelligence to ensure the nation is at the cutting edge of understanding foreign threats to U.S. air and space operations. NASIC all-source analysts are national experts on threats that span air, space and cyberspace domains, and NASIC is a recognized innovator in information and data exploitation. The center’s world-class connectivity ensures analysts have physical access to key mission data and partnerships throughout the intelligence community. TISR  1.5 | 21

Because of this innovation and expertise, NASIC intelligence products are relevant to key customers daily. The president, members of Congress and senior U.S. military leaders rely on NASIC all-source analysis to form U.S. defense policy decisions. NASIC products are used by airmen, soldiers, sailors and Marines in places like Iraq and Afghanistan to make their operations safer and more effective and are used to develop the next generation of Air Force systems, preparing the nation to combat future air and space threats. NASIC has a global force of more than 3,000 military, civilian, Reserve, Guard and contract personnel. The center has four intelligence analysis groups—with 18 subordinate squadrons—and four support directorates: Through these intelligence analysis groups, enabled by the directorates, NASIC accomplishes a diverse set of missions that encompass the eight categories: • • • • • • • •

Air & Counterair Space & Counterspace Ballistic Missiles National Processing, Exploitation, Dissemination (PED) Node Integrated Assessments Cyberspace Disruptive Technologies C4ISR

As the Air Force’s “Cryptologic Wing,” the 70th ISRW serves as a key enabler of cryptologic operations in support of policymakers and warfighters across the globe. The wing conducts worldwide, real-time SIGINT and information assurance missions for ongoing air, space and cyberspace operations. It is responsible for training and developing a highly skilled and diverse cryptologic workforce that can meet the needs of today’s warfighters in an ever-demanding global technological environment. The wing serves as the lead for Air Force National-Tactical Integration, providing time-sensitive, high impact, national-level intelligence to the battle space. The 70th also leverages the National Security Agency’s global network-centric enterprise in order to conduct interagency, joint and Air Force operations. Finally, the wing provides applications, services and resources in areas such as information warfare/command and control warfare, security acquisition, foreign weapons systems and technology and treaty monitoring. 22 | TISR 1.5

The 70th ISR Wing is Always in the Fight! The 70th ISR Wing has six groups at 15 worldwide operating locations and includes approximately 4,700 airmen, one of the largest wings in the Air Force. The following groups are subordinate to the 70th ISR Wing: 373rd ISR Group at Misawa Air Base, Japan; the 543rd ISR Group at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas; the 544th ISR Group at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.; the 691st ISR Group at Menwith Hill Station, United Kingdom; the 659th ISR Group and 707th ISR Group, both located at Fort George G. Meade, Md.

480th ISR Wing The 480th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing, headquartered at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., has more than 6,000 personnel authorized and is the Air Force lead for delivering timely and relevant ISR data to combatant commanders, key coalition partners and Air Force leaders. The wing operates and maintains the Air Force Distributed Common Ground System (AF DCGS) and provides collection, processing, exploitation and dissemination of ISR data from the U-2 and the RQ-4, MQ-1 and MQ-9 unmanned aerial vehicles, in addition to numerous other ISR platforms. Additionally, the wing conducts realtime cryptologic and signals intelligence operations in direct support of combat operations and combatant commanders worldwide. The wing is organized into six ISR groups located around the world. The six subordinate ISR groups are: 480th ISR Group, Fort Gordon, Ga.; 497th ISR Group, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va.; 548th ISR Group, Beale Air Force Base, Calif.; 692nd ISR Group, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii; 693rd ISR Group, Ramstein Air Base, Germany; and the 694th ISR Group, Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea. The wing has two Air Force Reserve and 10 Air National Guard units standing side-by-side with the active duty component as it engages in ISR operations around the globe. The wing is very proud of the fact that they have executed distributed combat intelligence missions continuously, 24/7/365 for 10 years. Even during periods of national or international crisis and natural disasters, the wing continues to execute its combat mission at the same time that

it surges, or works overtime, to provide high quality information to decision-makers. From March through May 2011, the wing executed combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan while simultaneously working overtime to support humanitarian operations for the Japan earthquake/tsunami relief efforts and additional missions for operations in Libya. The 480th ISR Wing and DCGS—the Air Force’s premier ISR weapon system.

361 ISR Group The 361st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group, located at Hurlburt Field, Fla., is the only Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency group that directly supports Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC). The 361st ISR Group trains and equips both direct support operators and tactical systems operators, who fly as qualified aircrew members onboard AFSOC aircraft. The 361st ISR Group provides direct threat warning and enhanced situational awareness to AFSOC aircrews. The 361st brings all Air Force ISR Agency units supporting special operations forces under the umbrella of one group to better present ISR capabilities to the SOF community and to streamline the unit’s command and control. The 361st is a selectively-manned and uniquely tasked unit, providing a specialized ISR across the spectrum of operations from conflict through humanitarian relief, and is heavily tasked around the world. The group and subordinate units conduct cultural and network studies to enhance tactic techniques and procedures to ensure interoperability within the special operations and conduct research and development of commercial and government acquired communications sites. The group consists of two squadrons and includes several geographically separated detachments. The group’s airmen are qualified to operate as aircrew on almost every aircraft type within AFSOC. O

For more information, contact KMI Media Group Editor-in-Chief Jeff McKaughan at or search our online archives for related stories at

Tactical data links, the promise and the reality. By Steve Goodman TISR Correspondent

cal director, Communications and Network To achieve the information dominance Solutions Business Area, Electronic Systems called for by today’s increasingly networkSector, BAE Systems Inc. “Since the data is centric warfare (NCW), wideband data must processed and put into a stanbe exchanged rapidly, accudard message format, very rately and securely through efficient use of bandwidth real-time battlefield networks and the radio frequency (RF) to allow warfighters not only spectrum can be achieved. to conduct combat operaTDLs are key to modern wartions, but also quickly assess fare to allow unambiguous and effectively respond to all communication of missionmanors of threats. Tactical critical data, such as where data links (TDL) are a critical the threat is located, where part of this network enabled the threat is moving, where approach to battle that will are the friendly forces, status continue to capitalize on the David Cooper of friendly forces and weapons power of linked assets and coordination.” cement the U.S. military as In a nutshell, the successful conduct of one of the most formidable forces in the network centric warfare cannot take place future battlespace. without a reliable and secure infrastruc“TDLs are generally used to send proture that allows information to be collected, cessed data using standard message formats analyzed and distributed as real-time intelthat can be easily understood by a wide ligence to provide field commanders with range of users,” said David Cooper,

superior situational awareness. Ground, air and sea forces operate simultaneously within the same theater against broad and disparate enemy threats. For modern warfighters, who are usually embroiled in asymmetrical conflicts, or irregular warfare, to be able to handle those threats, while at the same time be successful in avoiding engaging friendlies, they must have the advantage of superior knowledge and shared information. TDLs make that advantage possible. “Historically, TDLs were expensive and large, limiting their applicability to the largest C2 platforms. As technology has advanced, TDLs have reduced dramatically in both cost and size, allowing their use to be extended to strike fighters, ground vehicles and missiles,” said Cooper.

Combat Connectivity “Link 16” is a good example of a tactical data link. Link 16 is the primary data TISR  1.5 | 23

and costs. “Achieving a 50 percent reduction exchange network used by the U.S. military in size, weight, power and cost was possible and a good many NATO Allies. from Joint Tactical Information Distribution As an effectively deployed TDL, Link Systems Class 2 to the MIDS terminal using 16 provides real-time, jam-resistant combat the COMLINK IR&D terminal. MIDS Link data, voice and relative navigation informa16 has grown to over 40 platforms and 36 tion between widely dispersed operational allied countries for Army, Navy and Air Force and battle elements. The goal for the users of services,” explained BAE’s Cooper. Link 16 is to improve situational awareness Link 16 is one of the digital services of by gaining access to digital data over a comthe Joint Tactical Information Distribution mon communication link that is automatiSystem (JTIDS). JTIDS is a networked radio cally updated in real time. Every participant system used by DoD and the NATO allies prinin operations using a secured Link 16 termicipally in the air and missile defense comnal, is able to actually electronically “see” the munity. JTIDS was designed to provide very entire battlespace, including assigned targets high-speed, crypto-secure or threats. In this way Link computer-to-computer con16 reduces the chances of nectivity for military platmissing targets, warfighters forms ranging from Air Force duplicating assigned targets, fighter jets to Navy submaor engaging with friendly tarrines. Most development for gets. JTIDS is now handled by DLS. The lynchpin of Link 16’s MIDS-LVTs were developed to success is the multifunctional provide Link 16 functionality information distribution sysat a lower weight, volume and tem-low volume terminal, or cost than the existing JTIDS MIDS. MIDS is the state-ofequipment. According to Jay the-art in Link 16 equipment Troy Brunk Kaufman, general manager, incorporating secure, jamData Links at ViaSat, ViaSat resistant data and voice comis developing a multi-channel version of its munications into a single, small, and rugged Link 16 technology to provide users with a terminal. Rockwell Collins, in conjunction fuller picture of the situational awareness with BAE Systems through their limited liaenvironment and greater use of underutibility company, Data Link Solutions (DLS), lized network bandwidth. was recently awarded a $24 million contract ViaSat was also recently awarded MIDS from the U.S. Navy Space and Naval Warfare contracts. According to ViaSat , they were Systems Command to provide Link 16 termiawarded “a delivery order valued at approxinals to U.S. and coalition forces. mately $27.6 million for Multifunctional “Rockwell Collins has been manufacturInformation Distribution System–Low Voling Link 16 terminals for over 30 years and ume Terminals (MIDS-LVT)” and “engineerwe are recognized as a leader in this field,” ing development orders valued at over $15 said Troy Brunk, senior director, airborne million for Multifunctional Information Discommunications, Rockwell Collins. “MIDS tribution System Joint Tactical Radio System LVT is one aspect of this leadership and we (MIDS JTRS) terminals for the U.S. governcontinue to receive orders as part of our relament.” Both awards were procured through tionship with Data Link Solutions LLC with the Space and Naval Warfare Systems ComBAE Systems. Along with the standard MIDS mand. LVT family of products, Rockwell Collins is According to the company, ViaSat is “a also a leader in the next generation Link 16 leading supplier of MIDS-LVT 1 to F-16 fleets technology known as MIDS-JTRS (or MIDSworldwide.” The company’s Small Tactical J), which is one of the JTRS programs being Terminal delivers Link 16 and secure UHF managed out of the JTRS JPEO San Diego.” line-of-sight to dismounted ground troops, ViaSat Inc., based in Carlsbad, Calif., has ground vehicles, marine landing craft, UAVs, been a long-time co-developer along with helicopters and other platforms within the DLS of MIDS technologies. ViaSat has been combat environment. ViaSat is known for instrumental in re-designing and re-engiproviding complete turnkey systems to supneering MIDS technologies to better inteport C4ISR ops using Link 16. grate with Link 16, and reduce size and cost. “Integration of Link 16 into a new platTogether ViaSat and DLS are delivering Next form can require costly changes in the Gen MIDS terminals that represent a 50 perplatform’s operational software,” explained cent reduction in size, power consumption 24 | TISR 1.5

ViaSat’s Kaufman in reference to the contracts. “Recognizing this problem, ViaSat is developing a terminal-resident data link processor to minimize the impact to the platform. We were recently awarded a contract to upgrade MIDS JTRS terminals for crypto modernization, which will provide the terminals with greater communication and transmission security than is currently available. Because ViaSat crypto technology is based entirely on commercial processing resources, this upgrade can be accomplished through downloadable software and firmware only, with no hardware changes.” So what exactly does a MIDS-LVT do? Basically, the LVT is a jam-resistant Link-16 radio that automatically exchanges battlefield information among users of the network. For example, ISR and tracking data from an airborne warning and control system plane can be instantly shared with fighters and tactical air defense units. MIDS was originally created via a memorandum of understanding between the initial adopting nations, Germany, Italy, Spain, France and the United States. Today, MIDS LVTs are in use on most U.S. Air Force aircraft and most Navy aircraft and ships, and have been incorporated into many U.S. bases and air defense systems. The MIDS-LVT 1 is generally the “airborne terminal” found in Link 16 enabled aircraft, but it is also used by some ground units. In addition to basic Link 16 functionality, MIDS-LVT 1 also integrates with voice and the Tactical Air Navigation System (TACAN). The MIDS LVT 2, as described by ViaSat, is generally the “ground terminal,” although it too is used by some airborne units. Tactical Communications Group (TCG), Tewksbury, Mass., is another company that is involved in the supply of Link 16 compatible TDLs. In April 2011, TCG announced its fourth consecutive order from the U.S. Air Force’s Electronic Systems Center for a Ground Support System (GSS) for use by the Pakistan Air Force. According to a company press release issued at the time of the order, “TCG’s GSS solution for the PAF will provide their pilots a commercial off-the-shelf capability to support Link 16 simulation training and operations situational awareness on Pakistani F-16 aircraft.” Looking at MIDS and JTIDS specifically and TDLs more broadly, the drive to introduce complex yet secure networking technologies and protocols into today’s war fighting systems is the DoD equivalent of

the large-scale drive toward digitization that swept the private sector in the decade between the mid-’80s and mid-’90s. Military networking, however, especially between services and across platforms, is far more demanding than any kind of commercial networking due to the heavy reliance on wireless communications, combined with the profound requirement for security and the ubiquitous need for resistance to hostile jamming. “The demand for high levels of real-time data interchange in support of networkcentric operations is driving military communications systems to support increasingly complex processing and networking waveforms. The design of communication products capable of enabling these operations, while retaining legacy capability to achieve interoperability—all within the desired size, weight, power and cost constraints— remains a key challenge across the industry,” explained Rockwell’s Brunk. With such challenges to overcome, it should not be surprising that it has taken a lot longer for the military environment to create the kind of high speed networked infrastructure that the private sector has been enjoying for almost two decades. TDLs have proved to provide increased situational awareness, improved real-time weapons coordination among surface and airborne units, and high integrity, secured and jam-resistant communications. As valuable as TDLs are in exploiting and coordinating command, control, communications, computer and intelligence operations between ground troops and airborne assets, their effective deployment has not been without its share of challenges.

Interoperability Issues Link 16 has been a flagship example of how data links can and do work, but it is not the only TDL used by DoD and its Allies. Link 16 is a real-world proof of concept of coordinated NCW. However, military operations using Link 16 rarely occur in isolation; they often must interface with civilian traffic, as well as military operations using other radio networks—some, such as TADIL A and TADIL C, that are based on 40-year-old technology. “One of the weak points of legacy analog links is the inherent ‘openness’ of the information being transmitted without any real integrated security mechanisms. The move to a digital platforms enables various

data encryption schemes to be considered to secure the information appropriately,” said Dennis Burman, senior business development manager with L-3 Southern California Microwave (L-3 SCM). “Integration of a digital solution is always challenge due to size, weight and power constraints.” If a TDL can be described as the backbone of NCW, interoperability can be best defined as the nervous system that keeps network systems, command centers, and operational forces moving in concert so that the “left hand knows what the right hand is doing.” Ideal interoperability does not depend only on equipment and user skills alone, but must also be supported by ever-evolving operational procedures and training. Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC), McLean, Va., has been working with the U.S. Navy to tackle interoperability issues. In 2010, SAIC was awarded a follow-up contract, which could potentially value over $42 million, to continue to furnish systems engineering needed for the development, testing and certification of new capabilities for C4ISR TDL platforms being used by various Navy, Marine Corps and joint coalition partners. The Boeing Company, one of the pioneers in the development of TDLs, is also focused on solving interoperability and compatibility issues. “Some of biggest integration challenges include spectrum management, multipath, and Doppler and other disruptions induced by high dynamic platforms,” explained Kerry Rowe, vice president, ISR and force protection, Boeing. “Another challenge is in the dynamic aspects of network formation. Platforms often need to operate beyond the line of sight and also adapt to dynamic changes in network membership. Networks also need to support the integration of coalition partners who might also bring different types of equipment. Boeing is developing and working with both industry partners and the government to prototype and mature solutions to these challenges.” Maintaining interoperability is one of the primary responsibilities of the Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC). JITC, Fort Huachuca, Ariz., is the testing arm of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). According to the mission statement of the JITC Tactical Data Link Branch, “In its capacity as the testing arm of DISA, JITC’s TDL Branch is responsible for ensuring systems that implement TDLs are interoperable and in compliance with the applicable joint standards.” JITC does this by conducting the

professional tests for joint/combined interoperability, standards validation and standards conformance. They also conduct performance assessments for the compatibility of systems in operational environments.

Ultimate UAVs Besides their capability to link ground and sea operations with manned airborne operations, an area where TDLs are really proving their worth is in the effective exploitation of UAV assets. Small unmanned aerial systems (SUAVs) such as Raven, Predator and Puma have been one of the U.S. military’s greatest advantages in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. “While much larger aircraft or UAVs can serve a similar purpose and with longer mission duration, there are times when it helps to be able to bring your own tactical small UAV rather than rely on more expensive resources that need coordination with airfields and remote pilots,” said Boeing’s Rowe. These systems increasingly have proved to be effective not only in ISR, but in their ability to acquire and strike targets with surgical precision. Such capabilities would not be possible without digital data link technology that has been optimized for small size, light weight and minimal power consumption. “SUAVs have small payload capacity and can ill-afford a large and heavy digital solution,” explained L-3 SCM’s Burman. “Miniaturization of the digital and RF electronics is critical and a significant challenge to meet the SWaP goals of most SUAV platforms.” L-3 SCM, a division of L-3 Communications, has been specially developing secure digital data link (SDDL) technology for use with smaller UAVs. Their latest SDDL transceiver has been engineered to be fully compliant with the small unmanned aircraft system digital data link (SUAS DDL) waveform specification, but was designed specially with the ROVER and Army PMUAS platforms in mind. According to Burman, “The SDDL system is fully compliant with the SUAS DDL supported by the Army PMUAS. The SDDL will be fully interoperable with ROVER, OSRVT and other systems that comply with this SUAS DDL. Many SUAS system developers are looking to the future integration of an SDDL solution for DoD, domestic and international programs. [We believe] the TISR  1.5 | 25

and the ongoing issues of interoperability. SDDL will also be ideal for SUAS systems “Increased connectivity also brings with it a used for search and rescue, border security need for increased security, which is often at and general law enforcement applications.” odds with the demand for interoperability. San Diego, Calif.-headquartered Cubic Ultra’s approach is ultimately to divorce the Corporation also provides DoD and allied data from the data link. This way the data forces with a broad range of secured comlinks become ignorant bearers transmitmon data link solutions for ISR operations. ting all the data, carrying out Much as L-3 has been for the routing, according to conU.S. UAV platforms, Cubic gestion, priority and latency,” has been instrumental in Parnell explained. Ultra won providing TDL systems for a contract from the U.K. Minthe U.K.’s Watchkeeper istry of Defence to explore Hermes 450 unmanned practical ways of doing that, aerial vehicle. Cubic also and the company developed provides its second generaHIDL to achieve that objective. tion tactical common data HIDL is being adopted as an link for use with the U.S. open NATO standard to enable Navy’s vertical take-off UAV, Robert Kalebaugh interoperability. the Fire Scout. “The great“Along with the obvious est challenge in coming benefit of greater and more up with solutions is the varied data gathering and number of requirements delivering capabilities that increased reliand the different types of requirements ance on unnamed aerial systems provides, that military users have,” said Robert Kaleit also creates a real bandwidth bottleneck, baugh, director of business development, as well as a technological barrier when so Cubic Defense Applications. many different data sources and formats Those kinds of challenges increase when need to be channeled down to the ground,” dealing with developing link solutions for explained Zvi Krepel, vice president of SAR UAVS. “When we developed the first protoand data links at Elbit Systems. type for a miniature common data link, the “Elisra’s solution for this problem is Air Force Research Laboratory said we surthe data packeting interface adapter—an prised them with our ability to rapidly build in-house developed technology-rich system prototype hardware, conduct UAV flight at the heart of our TDL’s capabilities. This tests and demonstrate functionality in a system combines multiple streams of data relevant environment, all during the perforgathered by a variety of onboard payloads, mance design stage.” That level of success and bundles it into a unified stream of IP continues with Cubic’s latest small, afforddata packets, which can then be channeled able and power-efficient data link solution, downlink over a fraction of the bandwidth the MMT. “Our new multiband miniature that would be required to send each of the transceiver, or MMT, is only 23 cubic inches sources by separate channels.” Elisra’s tactiin size and weighs less than 1.7 pounds. It cal digital data link system was developed can fit in a shirt pocket, which makes it and fielded under a DoD purchase order easy to incorporate into an air or ground for use with U.S. Navy and USMC “Pioneer” platform.” UASs. Ultra CIS, a division of Middlesex, U.K.Bingen, Wash.-based Insitu Inc. develbased Ultra Electronics, also provides its oped and deployed the ScanEagle UAS, HIDL family of tactical data links for use with and worked closely with Boeing in the the Watchkeeper UAV. According to Karen development of its TDL. “Understanding Parnell, head of business development and the limitations and challenges of the fremarketing, communication and integrated quency spectrum in certain environments Systems, Ultra’s HIDL is “a family of flexand regions is key to ensuring the platform ible, networkable, software-definable digital is flexible and meets the needs of the cusdata links that have been optimized to meet tomer,” explained Ryan M. Hartman, senior the highly sensitive, time-critical exchange vice president of business development, needs between airborne unmanned systems Insitu. “To overcome challenges with range and ground forces, and between multiple due to line-of-sight limitations, ScanEagle platforms.” was designed to operate using a hub and Like all suppliers of TDLs, Ultra recspoke concept of operations. Essentially, ognizes the increased needs for security 26 | TISR 1.5

a ScanEagle is launched from a hub, then transits to support a spoke, which is forward deployed. The spoke can hand the ScanEagle off to additional spokes, effectively doubling the range of ScanEagle with each additional spoke.”

A Link to the Future In typical 21st-century military operations, combat forces and ISR elements tend to be very diverse geographically as well as operationally. Assets are not always associated with a single unit or even a single branch of service. In the not-so-distant past, these kinds of disconnects have often made the difference between success or failure of a particular mission and/or resulted in heavy losses among non-combatants or friendly forces. The goal of NCW as enabled by Link 16 and other TDLs is to connect the multitudes of existing aspects of command, intelligence and weapon systems in such a way that all warfighters, from varied services and varied alliances, can achieve mission objectives faster, more effectively, and with greater precision and efficiency. “TDLs play a critical role in timely dissemination of ISR information to processing, exploitation, dissemination nodes and, ultimately, to the user,” said Boeing’s Rowe. But more than the development and creative use of new technologies, NCW also requires a bit of a change in strategic thinking. Since TDLs provide up-to-the minute information in real time, NCW requires strategists and commanders to think in more of a real-time environment. As Rowe put it, “Modern warfare requires persistent surveillance with decisions that more often need to be made in minutes and sometimes seconds; high bandwidth and low latency links become crucial. Today’s decision-makers want to see the relevant piece of intelligence as well as the appropriate image or video as quickly as possible.” To be sure, there will always be the need for planning. However, TDLs allow for tactical commanders to make more on-the-spot decisions to reach mission objectives—and to make them with greater confidence. O

For more information, contact KMI Media Group Editor-in-Chief Jeff McKaughan at or search our online archives for related stories at www.

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AUSA Army Aviation Symposium. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 L-3 Wescam. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C4 Logos Technology. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

January 11-13, 2012 AUSA Aviation Symposium National Harbor, Md. January 24, 2012 Intelligence Community Overview San Diego, Calif. February 2, 2012 C4ISR Breakfast Arlington, Va.

February 7-9, 2012 AUVSI’s Unmanned Systems Program Review Washington, D.C. February 2012 NSA Army Tactical SIGINT Fort Meade, Md. February 22-24, 2012 AUSA Winter Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

TISR  1.5 | 27

Industry Interview

Tactical ISR Technology

Paul Jennison Vice President, Government Sales and Business Development L-3 Wescam

Paul Jennison is responsible for business development at L-3 Wescam, which he joined in 1993. He has a Bachelor of Science in physics and advanced mathematics, and a Master of Science in applied and modern optics, both from Reading University in England. Q: What types of products and services are you offering to the military and other government customers? A: Wescam designs and manufactures a product line of stabilized EO/IR imaging and laser carrying turrets that provide users with very stable high magnification imagery for surveillance, observation and targeting applications for airborne platforms. This product line encompasses MX-20, MX-15 and MX-10 systems; they are known to provide stable, highquality full motion video imagery combined with operator ease of use, and commonality to support aircraft integration and logistics. The numbers denote the size of the systems, so the MX-15 is 15-inch diameter turret. Our larger products, such as an MX-20, are operational on the U.S. Navy P-3 [Orion] and we’re under contract for its successor the P-8A [Poseidon] aircraft for the U.S. Navy. It’s used as part of an overall antisurface, anti-submarine warfare system. We have had an unusual run for our large systems, because of application on aerostats in Iraq and Afghanistan. There’s a program called the persistent threat detection system where we are installed on Lockheed Martin’s aerostat systems. These systems provide overwatch of operating bases or convoy routes. The MX-15D operates on both helicopters and fixed wing aircraft. For example, that’s deployed on the U.S. Air Force Project Lib28 | TISR 1.5

erty program—the new MC-12W ISR aircraft and it’s also on the UK [AH-Mk 1] Wildcat program for both Naval and Army operations. Finally, MX-10 is designed to access smaller platforms, anything from a tactical UAV to a small helicopter. All of our products contain an infrared camera, two to three television cameras, providing IR, low-light and color full-motion video. They also can house a variety of lasers that could go in the systems, such as laser pointers to put a spot on the ground, to mark ground forces. And some of them would have laser designators on them as well, which would be for guiding ordnance such as Hellfire or laser-guided bombs. Q: What unique benefits does your company provide its customers in comparison with other companies in your field? A: Wescam is known throughout the industry for delivering highly stabilized imagery. However, over the years we have added in-house designed and manufactured high magnification optics as well as video design and image processing. To this I would add that we have invested heavily in both algorithms and system architecture to provide very precise target location accuracy from our systems when in operation on aerial platforms. So I think stabilization, precise target location, great high magnification picture quality and ease of use typically are characteristics that differentiate Wescam in the marketplace against the competition. Q: Are you currently developing any new products and services relevant to military and government customers that you hope to bring to market in the future?

A: Yes, Wescam has some very exciting things going on. One is our new targeting product—the MX-10D, where the D stands for designation. It is ideal for low-altitude tactical surveillance and target designation missions that require low-weight, and installation flexibility. This product is undergoing its first set of flight trials this month and into January. We’re hoping to get that product into the market next year. On the more leading-edge airborne side we’re looking to put together very large focal plane arrays—greater than 16 megapixels—for wide area and persistent surveillance applications. Wescam has also invested heavily in bringing our proven airborne turret technology to the ground in support of reconnaissance, surveillance, targeting acquisition systems and commander independent viewer applications. The products will have the core competency of the magnification and stabilization. The shock and vibration profiles will be totally different as they will be aligned to ground market requirements. Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add? A: We’ve been very fortunate to get our products into the hands of the warfighter, and able to engineer products that are address specific mission requirements. That has helped stimulate Wescam’s product line into the industry leader that it is today. However, we are very sensitive to the the current economic climate and that our users must make do in more constrained environments, so we’re looking into the cost-competitive nature of our products and seeing how we can deliver more capability through strong company-funded internal research and development. O

February 2012 Volume 2, Issue 1

Next Issue

Cover and In-Depth Interview with:

Col. Tim Baxter

Project Manager U.S. Army Unmanned Systems

Special Section Secure Comms

The link for voice and data has to be secure to protect what we know from those that don’t. Systems not only have to secure the encrypted data, but protect it from intrusion and prying eyes and ears.

Bonus Distribution AUSA Winter

Features Situational Awareness

Sensors gather loads of information, but how does the soldier see and access the data that’s important to them? Delivering tactical ISR to the individual soldier.

IED Detection

Ranging from finding the source elements as they come together before an IED is constructed or discovering it as it lies in wait by the roadside, IED detection is an art and a science.


These air platforms had their genesis in surveillance and observation. High tech systems make them a force multiplier in the battlespace.

Rapidly Deployable Surveillance

As forces move into contested areas—whether covertly or with major forces—they will immediately set up, monitor and assess their tactical surroundings.

Insertion Deadline: February 1, 2012 • Ad Materials Deadline: February 8, 1012


MX-20HD/D MX-15HDi

MX-10 Airborne


MX-10 Ground

For today’s warfighter and homeland protectors, L-3 WESCAM continually reinvests in turret and sensor development to provide unambiguous clarity in its full-motion video. Because critical decisions depend on seeing what the eye can’t, day or night, WESCAM incorporates the very best imaging technology into the MX-Series to protect your people and national infrastructure. WESCAM’s 2011 product line enhancements include: HD IR, full-motion video channels, a laser spot tracker, an embedded navigation grade IMU, short wave IR and a 10-sensor payload capacity. To learn more, visit WESCAM

TISR 1-5 (Dec. 2011)  
TISR 1-5 (Dec. 2011)  

Tactical ISR Technology, Volume 1 Issue 5, December 2011